Spike Lee - African American Men, Birthday and Childhood

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Spike Lee's Personal Details

Spike Lee is an Emmy Award winning film director and actor known for his films that deal with controversial subjects like racism and politics

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 20, 1957
NationalityAmerican
FamousAfrican American Men, African American Actors, Film & Theater Personalities, Actors, Directors
City/StateGeorgia
SpousesTonya Lewis Lee (m. 1993)
SiblingsCinqué Lee, David Lee, Joie Susannah Lee
Known asShelton Jackson Lee
Childrens Satchel Lee
Birth PlaceAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Height168cm
GenderMale
FatherWilliam James Edward Lee III
MotherJacqueline Carroll
Net Worth$40 million as of May 10,2017
Sun SignPisces
Born inAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.

// Famous African American Men

Spike Lee's photo

Who is Spike Lee?

Born as Shelton Jackson Lee, Spike Lee is a renowned film director and actor famous for dealing with controversial issues like racism, politics and urban violence in his films. Known for his candid portrayal of taboo topics, he is a fearless and independent minded man who lets his films do the talking. He has made many movies such as ‘School Daze’, ‘Do the Right Thing’, and ‘Malcolm X’ which not only delivered powerful messages to the audiences, but also established him as one of the most respected directors in Hollywood. The son of a teacher and a jazz musician, he was brought up in a culturally and artistically rich atmosphere. His mother played an important role in kindling his imagination—she often took him to museums, galleries and plays and instilled in the boy a love for African American literature. As a young man he realized that he wanted to make films that celebrated the African culture. He made his debut as a director and actor with ‘She's Gotta Have It’ which was a huge success. Since then he has made numerous other movies that explore the greatness of African American culture. He is also the founder of the production house ‘40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks’ which has produced more than 35 films till date.

// Famous Actors

Childhood & Early Life

Lee was born to Jacqueline Carroll and William James Edward Lee III. His mother was a teacher of arts and black literature while his father was a jazz musician and composer. He has three younger siblings.

He was a very energetic and naughty child. His mother nicknamed him ‘Spike’ in a reference to his toughness. He often accompanied his mother to plays and museums and developed a keen interest in African American literature.

He attended John Dewey High School before enrolling in Morehouse College. By this time he was convinced that he wanted to make a career in film making. He graduated with a BA in Mass Communication.

He took film courses at Clark Atlanta University and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Film & Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Career

He had submitted the film ‘Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads’ as his master’s degree thesis at the Tisch School of the Arts in 1983. The film became the first student film to be showcased in Lincoln Center’s New Directors New Films Festival; it also won a Student Academy Award.

He turned a director cum actor with the 1986 comedy drama film ‘She’s Gotta Have It’, also starring Tracy Camilla Johns. The independent film projected African Americans as successful and independent individuals and marked the beginning of an era in African American cinema.

In 1988, he wrote, directed and produced a musical drama ‘School Daze’ which was in part based on the director’s own experiences at Atlanta’s Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University. The movie deals with issues like racism and skin tone bias.

He made a film on the African American activist Malcolm X in 1992. The biographical picture, titled ‘Malcolm X’ had Denzel Washington in the leading role. The screenplay was largely based on Alex Haley’s book ‘The Autobiography of Malcom X’.

The year 1995 was a very productive one for Spike. He produced and directed several movies including ‘Clockers’, ‘New Jersey Drive’ and ‘Tales from the Hood’.

He directed the historical documentary film ‘4 Little Girls’ in 1997. The film was about the murder of four African-American girls in September 1963 in the Baptist Church bombing. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

In 2000, he wrote and directed a satire about a televised minstrel show featuring black actors wearing blackface makeup in ‘Bamboozled’. The other films he produced during the year were ‘The Original Kings of Comedy’ and ‘Love & Basketball’.

He directed a documentary film ‘When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts’ in 2006 about the devastation of New Orleans when the levees failed during Hurricane Katrina.

Some of his more recent movies include ‘Pariah’ (2011), ‘Bad 25’ (2012), and ‘The Best Man Holiday’ (2013). In addition to films, he has also directed various commercials and a number of music videos by artists like Michael Jackson and Prince.

Major Works

His most important work so far is the documentary film ‘When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts’ about the Hurricane Katrina and the destruction it caused. The film was aired on HBO and was called "one of the most important films HBO has ever made." The film won several prestigious awards.

Awards & Achievements

He won the Time Warner Innovator Award in American Black Film Festival in 2004.

His production house, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks was presented with the highly prestigious Peabody Award in 2006 for the documentary film ‘When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts’.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married an attorney, Tonya Lewis in 1993. The couple has two children, a son and a daughter.

Trivia

He does not know how to drive an automobile.

It was the movie ‘The Deer Hunter’ (1978) which inspired him to become a director.

// Famous Film & Theater Personalities

Spike Lee awards

YearNameAward

Primetime Emmy Awards

2007Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction ProgrammingWhen the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)
2007Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction FilmmakingWhen the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)

Spike Lee biography timelines

  • // 20th Mar 1957
    Lee was born to Jacqueline Carroll and William James Edward Lee III. His mother was a teacher of arts and black literature while his father was a jazz musician and composer. He has three younger siblings.
  • // 1983
    He had submitted the film ‘Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads’ as his master’s degree thesis at the Tisch School of the Arts in 1983. The film became the first student film to be showcased in Lincoln Center’s New Directors New Films Festival; it also won a Student Academy Award.
  • // 1986
    He turned a director cum actor with the 1986 comedy drama film ‘She’s Gotta Have It’, also starring Tracy Camilla Johns. The independent film projected African Americans as successful and independent individuals and marked the beginning of an era in African American cinema.
  • // 1988
    In 1988, he wrote, directed and produced a musical drama ‘School Daze’ which was in part based on the director’s own experiences at Atlanta’s Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University. The movie deals with issues like racism and skin tone bias.
  • // 1992
    He made a film on the African American activist Malcolm X in 1992. The biographical picture, titled ‘Malcolm X’ had Denzel Washington in the leading role. The screenplay was largely based on Alex Haley’s book ‘The Autobiography of Malcom X’.
  • // 1993
    He married an attorney, Tonya Lewis in 1993. The couple has two children, a son and a daughter.
  • // 1995
    The year 1995 was a very productive one for Spike. He produced and directed several movies including ‘Clockers’, ‘New Jersey Drive’ and ‘Tales from the Hood’.
  • // 1997
    He directed the historical documentary film ‘4 Little Girls’ in 1997. The film was about the murder of four African-American girls in September 1963 in the Baptist Church bombing. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.
  • // 2000
    In 2000, he wrote and directed a satire about a televised minstrel show featuring black actors wearing blackface makeup in ‘Bamboozled’. The other films he produced during the year were ‘The Original Kings of Comedy’ and ‘Love & Basketball’.
  • // 2004
    He won the Time Warner Innovator Award in American Black Film Festival in 2004.
  • // 2006
    He directed a documentary film ‘When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts’ in 2006 about the devastation of New Orleans when the levees failed during Hurricane Katrina.
  • // 2006
    His production house, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks was presented with the highly prestigious Peabody Award in 2006 for the documentary film ‘When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts’.

// Famous African American Actors

Spike Lee's FAQ

  • What is Spike Lee birthday?

    Spike Lee was born at 1957-03-20

  • Where is Spike Lee's birth place?

    Spike Lee was born in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

  • What is Spike Lee nationalities?

    Spike Lee's nationalities is American

  • Who is Spike Lee spouses?

    Spike Lee's spouses is Tonya Lewis Lee (m. 1993)

  • Who is Spike Lee siblings?

    Spike Lee's siblings is Cinqué Lee, David Lee, Joie Susannah Lee

  • Who is Spike Lee childrens?

    Spike Lee's childrens is Satchel Lee

  • How tall is Spike Lee?

    Spike Lee's height is 168

  • Who is Spike Lee's father?

    Spike Lee's father is William James Edward Lee III

  • Who is Spike Lee's mother?

    Spike Lee's mother is Jacqueline Carroll

  • What is Spike Lee's sun sign?

    Spike Lee is Pisces