- NAME: Oliver Stone
- OCCUPATION: Director, Screenwriter
- BIRTH DATE: September 15, 1946 (Age: 67)
- Did You Know?: Oliver Stone is a friend and admirer of Cuban President Fidel Castro.
- Did You Know?: Before finding fame, Oliver Stone worked as a New York taxi driver.
- EDUCATION: Yale University, New York University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
- Full Name: William Oliver Stone
- AKA: Oliver Stone
- ZODIAC SIGN: Virgo
Best Known For
Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director Oliver Stone is best known for the hit films Platoon, Scarface, Born on the Fourth of July and Natural Born Killers.
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Oliver Stone was born on September 15, 1946, in New York City. After serving in the Vietnam War, he went to New York University to study film under Martin Scorsese. In 1974, Stone directed his first feature film, Seizure. His 1978 film, Midnight Express, won him an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. Over the course of his ongoing career, Stone has directed and written numerous award-winning films, including Platoon,
"You don't want to be a director at seven in the morning with an actress who is not a great morning person."
Born on the Fourth of July and Natural Born Killers.
William Oliver Stone was born in New York City on September 15, 1946, to Jacqueline Goddet and Louis Stone, a successful Wall Street stockbroker. A child of privilege, he grew up to attend Yale University, but dropped out to join the military. Stone served in Vietnam, where he was exposed to brutal violence and drugs, as well as alternative, counter-culture music like the Doors and Jefferson Airplane. Though Stone was awarded a Bronze Star for Gallantry and a Purple Heart for his war efforts, he was drawn to arts, alternative culture and politics.
After the war, Stone gravitated toward film, writing screenplays and forsaking Yale for New York University, where he studied under director Martin Scorsese. His first project, a short student film, was called Last Year in Viet Nam (1971). He followed that project a low-budget horror film, Seizure (1974), for which Stone also wrote the screenplay. Stone supported himself during this time by working as a New York taxi driver.
The following years saw Oliver Stone work on increasingly important projects, including the screenplay for Midnight Express (1978), directed by Alan Parker, which became a hit and for which Stone won his first Academy Award, for best adapted screenplay. The film earned him a shot at directing a major studio movie, The Hand (1981). The film was a failure, however, causing a temporary career setback for the up-and-coming filmmaker. Stone went on to write screenplays for the popular films Conan the Barbarian (1982) and Scarface (1983).
Stone had breakthrough year in 1986: He directed Salvador, a political drama starring James Woods (later nominated for an Oscar), and the Vietnam War drama Platoon, starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe. Platoon became a huge hit—with Berenger and Dafoe receiving Oscar nominations, Stone winning his first Oscar for directing and the film winning for best picture—which lifted Stone's notoriety to the world stage.
Following Platoon was a string of mostly successful, often controversial films: Wall Street (1987), starring Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas (in an Oscar-winning performance); Talk Radio (1988), based on a play and starring Eric Bogosian; and Born on the Fourth of July (1989), which starred superstar Tom Cruise as a challenged war veteran and won Stone a second Oscar for directing.
Adding to his now-legendary status in Hollywood, Stone went on to create several hit films, including The Doors (1991), telling the story of the famed '60s rock band and starring Val Kilmer; JFK (1991), a dramatization of the attempts by Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner) to uncover a conspiracy behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which earned Stone Oscar nominations for best director and best adapted screenplay; the ultra-violent Natural Born Killers (1994), starring Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis; and Nixon (1995), a controversial study of U.S. President Richard Nixon starring Anthony Hopkins.
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