George Lucas (born 14.5.1944)
George Lucas is an internationally renowned film director and is the chairman of the production company, Lucasfilm Ltd.
George Lucas: Childhood
George Lucas was born in Modesto, in California. His mother was Dorothy Ellinore and his father, also named George Lucas, owned a stationery store.
Whilst at school, Lucas was keen to become a racing car driver. However, a near fatal accident in his Autobianchi Bianchina made him change his mind about his choice of career. It was at community college that George Lucas became interested in cinematography and camera work. He became obsessed with Bruce Baillie's Canyon Cinema screenings.
George Lucas attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
George Lucas: Film Career
Lucas directed a short film, named Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB whilst he was teaching a class of US Navy students. The documentary was later adapted into Lucas' first full-length feature film, THX 1138. In the late 1960s, George Lucas won a Warner Brothers scholarship to observer Francis Ford Coppola working on 1968's Finian's Rainbow.
Lucas went on to form a studio with Coppola, named American Zoetrope. Lucas' second film, American Graffiti, was released through the studio in 1973.
The success of American Graffiti enabled Lucas to make Star Wars. His decision to waver his upfront director's fee and instead negotiate a licensing deal eventually earned George Lucas a vast amount of money from the profits of Star Wars' toys, games and collectibles. The first film in the franchise starred Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, Mark Hammill and Carrie Fisher. The money from the film enabled George Lucas to set up Lucasfilm, Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic. The next two films in the Star Wars franchise, Return of the Jedi and the Empire Strikes Back both matched the global success of their predecessor but were not directed by Lucas. They were, however, released on Lucasfilm and written by Lucas.
George Lucas returned to the Star Wars franchise in the 1990s, releasing a trilogy that started with Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The film starred Natalie Portman, Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, and Jake Lloyd. The next in this new trilogy was Episode II: Attack of the Clones, followed by Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. A full-length animation, Clone Wars, was released at a later date but did not enjoy the success of the feature films.
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg worked together on the original trio of Indiana Jones films. Firstly was 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, starring Harrison Ford in the title role. Next up was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, in 1984 and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989, which also starred Sean Connery. Nearly two decades later, they teamed up again to make 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which saw Ford return to his role as Indiana Jones.
Willow was an initial box office disappointment but has since become a cult favourite amongst film fans.
George Lucas: Personal Life
In 2005, George Lucas donated $1 million toward the building of the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington D.C.
George Lucas was married to the film editor Marcia Lou Griffin between 1969 and 1984. They adopted a daughter, Amanda, in 1981.
Lucas then went on to adopt two more children, Katie (b. 1988) and Jett (b.1993). All three of Lucas's adopted children have appeared in the recent Star Wars films.
After his split with Marcia, George Lucas had a lengthy relationship with the singer Linda Ronstadt and has been dating Mellody Hobson since 2007.
Lucas has stated that his religion is 'Buddhist Methodist.'