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who appeared with George Lucas on screen:
Birthday: May 14, 1944
Place: Modesto, California, USA
Height: 5' 6"
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| Along with his friend and occasional collaborator Steven Spielberg, George Lucas was the key figure behind the American film industry's evolution (or, according to most critics, de-evolution) from cinema to spectacle during the late '70s. The mastermind behind two of the most lucrative franchises in history — Star Wars and the Indiana Jones features, respectively — Lucas redefined the concept of the Hollywood motion picture, shifting the focus of film away from acting and personal storytelling to special effects, production design, and rapid-fire action. Remaining at all times on the cutting edge of merchandising and technology, he forever altered the ways in which movies are perceived by audiences and studios alike.Born May 14, 1944, in Modesto, CA, George Walton Lucas Jr.'s first love was not filmmaking, but auto racing. Only a serious wreck forced him out of the sport, and he eventually enrolled in the University of Southern California's famed film school program. There his experimental short subject THX 1138 won a number of awards and helped earn him an internship at Warner Bros. studios, where he worked as a production assistant on fellow U.S.C. alum Francis Ford Coppola's 1969 effort The Rain People. After working on the Al and David Maysles brothers' 1970 Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter, Lucas (with Coppola's financial assistance) mounted a feature-length remake of THX 1138. The end result, starring Robert Duvall, won rave reviews, and swiftly established itself as a major cult favorite.The success of THX 1138 brought Lucas to the attention of Universal Studios, which agreed to finance 1973's nostalgic American Graffiti, a superb reminiscence on early-'60s America which launched the motion-picture careers of talents including Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, and Harrison Ford. Even more important was the film's soundtrack, a collection of vintage rock & roll hits which became an immediate best-seller and established the formula for movie soundtracks for decades to come. Shot on a miniscule budget, American Graffiti grossed over 145 million dollars, and earned a number of Academy Award nominations including nods for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Suddenly, Lucas was a major Hollywood player, and he was given much greater latitude and support in developing his next project. That next project proved to be 1977's Star Wars, one of the most important and successful films in Hollywood history. A space opera inspired by the writings of Joseph Campbell (as well as, in no small part, Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress), it incorporated elements of mythology and religion to create a self-contained universe populated by larger-than-life characters in extraordinary situations, all achieved with the latest in cutting-edge technology. Made for just under ten million dollars, Star Wars grossed over 400 million dollars globally on just its initial run alone, creating a cottage industry of toys, comic books, and other collectibles and establishing science fiction as Hollywood's dominant genre. On the down side, it effectively ended a renaissance in American filmmaking, shifting the focus away from the personal, character-driven films of directors like Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and Robert Altman to action-packed, special effects-powered events.The overwhelming success of Star Wars did more than simply alter the kinds of films the studios looked to produce, however; it also forever changed the way films were made. The most notable aspect of the picture's storytelling was its breakneck pacing, edited by Lucas himself in tandem with his wife. Seemingly no film had ever moved so quickly, and its overwhelming success proved not only that a generation weaned on the rapid pace of television could easily absorb such an onslaught of image and sound, but that this was the kind of narrative they wanted to see on a regular basis. Studios scrambled to develop their own sci-fi projects, while Lucas himself turned to studying the pioneering special effects work of innovators like Willis O'Brien and Linwood Dunn, ultimately establishing his own F/X company, Industrial Light and Magic, to assist other filmmakers and technicians in creating the most accomplished visuals possible.Among Lucas' most significant achievements were implementing increased frame rates and the use of optical zooms to create the illusion of lightspeed space travel. To better integrate his effects while avoiding the graininess often inherent in 35 mm film, he also adopted the 70 mm format first advocated decades earlier by Mike Todd. The work of the Industrial Light and Magic team quickly became the industry standard, constantly remaining two or three steps ahead of their competition by applying the latest technological advances to manufacture seamless visual effects. Eventually, they became among the very first to work with computer graphics. Lucas also established Skywalker Sound, a state-of-the-art post-production audio facility which later developed THX, a means of creating new levels of sophistication in motion-picture soundtracks.Given the flurry of activity that followed in the wake of Star Wars, Lucas opted not to direct his screenplay for the film's inevitable sequel, 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, instead handing the reins over to Irvin Kershner. Widely considered the best of the Star Wars films, it was another massive hit, with a cliffhanger ending which left audiences dangling in suspense waiting for the third part of the trilogy. However, Lucas' next project, which he worked on with director Steven Spielberg, was the screenplay for 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, an adventure inspired by the old-time movie serials. Starring Harrison Ford as the renowned archaeologist Indiana Jones, Raiders was another blockbuster, later inspiring two sequels, 1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and 1989's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as a short-lived television series, Young Indiana Jones.Now working almost exclusively in the capacity of executive producer, Lucas wrapped up the Star Wars trilogy in 1983 with Return of the Jedi. His next major project was also his first unmitigated disaster: 1986's Howard the Duck. Based on a cult hit from Marvel Comics, the film was both a critical and commercial bomb, while 1988's sword-and-sorcery epic Willow failed to fare much better. Subsequently, his Lucasfilms imprint was largely absent from theaters for several years amid constant rumors of a new series of Star Wars films. However, when Lucas returned in 1994 it was with Radioland Murders, another conspicuous failure based on a script he had penned decades earlier. In 1997, he reissued the Star Wars trilogy in theaters with additional footage and newly revised special effects, all to massive box-office success. Finally, that summer he also began pre-production on the first of the hotly anticipated new Star Wars features. The first of the new trilogy, Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace, opened in May of 1999. Despite an almost unprecedented degree of marketing, rumor, and advance ticket sales, the film failed to live up to the colossal expectations that industry and media observers placed upon it. In addition to receiving unenthusiastic reviews and weak word-of-mouth, it also didn't surpass Titanic's box-office record, as many had expected it would. However, The Phantom Menace still proved to be a very profitable affair, grossing well over 400 million dollars, and legions of Lucas fans came out of theaters already impatient for the trilogy's next installment. Though Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones was greeted with largely negative reviews by critcs, longtime fans of the series nevertheless costumed-up and assembled en masse in front of multiplexes nationwide in anticipation for the next chapter in Anakin Skywalker's continuing fall to the dark side. Generally considered an improvement over the previous installment by fans, the film also made film history in being the first feature to be digitally shot and projected in theaters, prompting many to mark the days of celluliod entertainment in the traditional sense. Though it had strong adversarial competition in the form of everyones favorite web-slinging superhero Spider-Man, Attack of the Clones still managed to make a splash at the box-office.
- Three adopted children: Amanda Lucas (aka Amanda Lucas, b. 1981), Katie Lucas (b. 1988), and Jett Lucas(b. 1993).
- Graduated from USC's school of cinema (1962)
- Shortly before graduating high school, he was involved in a high speed car accident that left him hospitalized and near death
- Lucas provided all the funding for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).
- For 2nd consecutive year, ranked No. 4 on Entertainment Weekly's annual list of "101 Most Powerful People in Entertainment." Ranked just ahead of Steven Spielberg and just behind the power couple that runs Time Warner Turner media empire.
- Sits on USC School of Cinema-Television's Board of Councilors.
- In the 2001 edition of the Forbes' "400 Richest People In America", it is reported that Lucas' fortune is billion.
- Ranked #10 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List. Had ranked #14 in 2002.
- He is a diabetic.
- Frequently uses the famous "Wilhelm Scream" sound effect in his films. This sound effect has been used in dozens of movies.
- He has created the image of always being on the cutting edge of technology. However, when he writes, he does it in longhand in a loose leaf binder rather than on a word processor.
- He was so impressed with relatively unknown stage actor James Wheaton that he cast him over studio objections in the voiceover role of "OMM" in THX 1138 (1971). The studio wanted Orson Welles to play the role.
- His script for Star Wars (1977) was turned down by every major Hollywood studio, the reason being that no one would want to see it. In a last ditch attempt, Lucas approached 20th Century Fox who decided to go ahead with the script even though they were convinced it would flop. Star Wars ended up becoming the highest grossing movie ever released at that time. It still ranks as one of the highest grossing movies ever made to this day.
- Sold Lucasfilm's Computer Graphics Division to Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, and it later became Pixar Animation Studio.
- His name backwards is Egroeg Sacul. This name is also used in the Disney theme park ride Star Tours (1987).
- Rewrote the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) to tighten it up due to the fact that the scene would have been too busy. It originally ended with the mine-car chase that was later added to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984).
- Conceived Indiana Jones while on vacation with his friend Steven Spielberg in Hawaii. Lucas decided to produce while Spielberg would direct.
- Had a long romantic involvement with Linda Ronstadt.
- With THX 1138 (1971) and Star Wars (1977), Lucas re-invented the way sound was used in films. Using it in both a linear and abstract way, to tell the story, he pushed sound design to the forefront of the filmmaking process.
- Refuses to put "critics quotes" on his movie posters. Something that infuriates many critic societies.
- Ranked #16 in Premiere's 2004 annual Power 100 list. Had ranked #10 in 2003.
- Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 605-610. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
- He based the character of Han Solo on his friend Francis Ford Coppola.
- He originally wanted his friend Steven Spielberg to direct Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), but his dispute with the Director's Guild barred him from doing so. He settled for director Richard Marquand instead.
- Became so stressed during the filming of the original Star Wars (1977) that he checked himself into a hospital, where he was diagnosed with hyper-tension.
- Said that Alec Guinness was very helpful to him during the filming of the original Star Wars (1977) even to the point of getting the other actors to work more seriously.
- Disowned Howard the Duck (1986) after the film's release.
- When he began his apprenticeship at Warner Brothers, what he wanted to see most was the Animation Department. He claims that the day he arrived on the lot was the very day the Animation Department was closed down.
- According to Lucas, one of the themes in all of his films is man's relationship to machines and technology - either controlling them, or being controlled by them.
- Despite a reputation as Hollywood blockbusters, all of the Star Wars films are actually independent films, with the exception of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The only way he could get the required funding to make the film was to apply for studio funding. With the success of the film and its merchandising, Lucas no longer needed to go to the studios. For Episodes V and VI, he took out bank loans, which he paid off on each films' earnings. For the Prequel Trilogy, he no longer needed bank loans, having made enough money to fund each film out of his own personal savings.
- He made what was at the time an unusual deal for the film, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Paramount financed the film's entire million budget. In exchange, Lucas would own over 40% of the film and collect almost half of the profits after the studio a grossed a certain amount. It turned out to be a very lucrative deal for Lucas. Paramount executive Michael Eisner said that he felt the script for the film was the best he had ever read.
- Won the American Film Institute's Life Time Achievement Award.
- Ranked #11 on Premiere's 2005 Power 50 List. Had ranked #16 in 2004.
- His favorite stage of film making is editing the film together.
- His nickname in high school was Luke. This later became the name of the hero of his original Star Wars trilogy, Luke Skywalker.
- He originally wanted to do a film adaptation of Flash Gordon, but he could not obtain the rights, so he created Star Wars instead, which was in a similar vein to Flash Gordon.
- Used the 1927 U.F.A. film "Metropolis" as guidelines for some of his Star Wars characters. The "robotic man" for "C3PO" and the "robots creator" as "Anakin Skywalker". Both the creator and Anakin lost a hand due to a circumstance. The "robotic man's creator" loses his hand while building the robot.
- Became rich almost overnight due to him keeping the rights to Star Wars and not selling them outright to Twentieth Century Fox.
- In the 2005 edition of Forbes' "400 Richest People in America" list, his net worth is estimated at .5 billion. He and good friend Steven Spielberg are the only filmmakers on the list.
- Plans to reissue all of the Star Wars movies in 3-D versions using the Dimensionalization process by ILM. The process was first used in Chicken Little (2005).
- Had a dog named 'Indiana' which not only inspired the Indiana Jones character, but Chewbacca from Star Wars was also modelled around the way the dog looked.
- He received a medal from US president George Bush for outstanding achievement in improvements in technology in movies made by his special effects company ILM
- "Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope" (1977) is ranked #39 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.
Naked Photos of George Lucas are available at MaleStars.com. They
currently feature over 65,000 Nude Pics, Biographies, Video Clips,
Articles, and Movie Reviews of famous stars.