Nov. 17th, 1942
Queens, New York, USA
Martin Scorsese's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
After serious deliberations about entering the priesthood - he entered a seminary in 1956 - Martin Scorsese opted to channel his passions into film. He graduated from NYU as a film major in 1964. Catching the eye of producer Roger Corman with his 1960s student films (including co-editing Woodstock (1970)), Scorsese directed the gritty exploiter Boxcar Bertha (1972). Mean Streets (1973) followed in 1973 and provided the benchmarks for the Scorsese style: New York settings, loners struggling with inner demons, pointed-shoes rock-meets-opera soundtracks and unrelenting cathartic violence. "Mean Streets" also featured Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel, two actors who would help shape that style. After Scorsese directed Ellen Burstyn to a Best Actress Oscar in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), the trio was reunited for the dark journey of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976). The film achieved additional notoriety five years after its release when Bickle's (De Niro) concern for a teenaged hooker played by Jodie Foster inspired John Hinckley (I)'s assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan (I) in 1981. After New York, New York (1977) (which one critic described as a wife-abuse musical) and The Last Waltz (1978), Scorsese released Raging Bull (1980) dedicated to his mentor Haig Manoogian. The biography of middleweight fighter Jake LaMotta earned two Oscars (Actor - DeNiro, Editing - Thelma Schoonmaker) and was later selected as the best film of the decade by U.S. critic gods Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. Scorsese then explored fans as pariah (The King of Comedy (1982)), dark-comic dreams (After Hours (1985)), and revisited pool shark Eddie Felson from The Hustler (1961) ( The Color of Money (1986) with Paul Newman (I)). Scorsese outraged some religious groups by attempting to portray a human son of God in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) before returning to more familiar territory with the Mafia in Goodfellas (1990). He followed with two films which were remakes, Cape Fear (1991) and The Age of Innocence (1993). Besides directing and co-writing, Scorsese has also acted. It's interesting to note he played the gunman at the finale of Mean Streets (1973) and the cab passenger planning to kill his wife in Taxi Driver (1976). He also had a role in Dreams (1990).
- He received a Degree ad honorem in "Cinema, TV and Multimedia Production" from the University of Bologna on 26 November 2005.
- Good friends with editor 'Thelma Schoonmaker' (qv) & cinematographer 'Michael Ballhaus (I)' (qv). Introduced Thelma to her husband 'Michael Powell (I)' (qv). Scorsese often quotes Powell as an influence.
- Was voted the 4th greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly, making him the only living person in the top 5 and the only working film director in the top 10 ('Ingmar Bergman' (qv) being retired as a filmmaker).
- He took a cameo in his film _Taxi Driver (1976)_ (qv) (as a man about to kill his wife) only because the actor who was supposed to play the role was sick on the day the scene was to be shot. Says he is generally uncomfortable in front of the camera.
- The 1912 American Mutoscope & Biograph Company short _The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)_ (qv) heavily influenced Scorsese in the making of his own gangster films _Goodfellas (1990)_ (qv), and _Gangs of New York (2002)_ (qv). The film was picked by Scorcese for his 2005 tribute at _Beaubourg, centre d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou (1977)_ (qv) in Paris, France. Biograph is the oldest movie company in America and in existence today, headed by producer/director 'Thomas R. Bond II' (qv).
- Has directed, as of 2008, 6 biopics: _Raging Bull (1980)_ (qv), _The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)_ (qv), _Goodfellas (1990)_ (qv), _Casino (1995)_ (qv), _Kundun (1997)_ (qv) and _The Aviator (2004)_ (qv).
- He was one of three major directors to have been offered the opportunity to direct _Schindler's List (1993)_ (qv) by producer 'Steven Spielberg' (qv), the other two being 'Roman Polanski' (qv) and 'Billy Wilder' (qv). Scorsese thought a Jewish filmmaker should direct it; Polanski wasn't yet ready to deal with the painful subject (having lost his mother in the Holocaust); and Wilder (who was retired and who lost his mother and grandmother in the Holocaust) finally told Spielberg that he should do it himself.
- He is a longtime friend and was once a housemate of 'The Band' (qv)'s 'Robbie Robertson (I)' (qv). He directed _The Last Waltz (1978)_ (qv), the documentary of their supposedly last gig which Robertson produced. Robertson later produced the soundtrack for Scorsese's _The Color of Money (1986)_ (qv).