Spike Lee

Film Director / Actor / Screenwriter / Film Producer / Mascot / Television Producer | * 03/20/1957 (67) | Atlanta, Georgia (United States of America (USA))
Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee (born March 20, 1957) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and author. His work has continually explored race relations, issues within the black community, the role of media in contemporary life, urban crime and poverty, and other political issues. Lee has won numerous accolades for his work, including an Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a BAFTA Award, and two Peabody Awards. He has also been honored with an Honorary BAFTA Award in 2002, an Honorary César in 2003, and the Academy Honorary Award in 2015. His production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced more than 35 films since 1983. He made his directorial debut with She's Gotta Have It (1986). He has since written and directed such films as School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), ()
Photo of Spike Lee

Spike Lee was born Shelton Lee in 1957, in Atlanta, Georgia. At a very young age, he moved from pre-civil rights Georgia, to Brooklyn, New York. Lee came from a proud and intelligent background. His father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a school teacher. His mother dubbed him Spike, due to his tough nature. He attended school in Morehouse College in Atlanta and developed his film making skills at Clark Atlanta University. After graduating, he went to the Tisch School of Arts graduate film program. He made a controversial short, The Answer (1980), a reworking of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (1915) -- a ten-minute film. Lee went on to produce a 45-minute film Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983), which won a student academy award. Lee's next film, "The Messenger," in 1984, was somewhat biographical. In 1986, Spike Lee made the film, She's Gotta Have It (1986), a comedy about sexual relationships. The movie was made for 175,000 dollars, and made seven million. Since then, Lee has become a well-known, intelligent, and talented film maker. His next movie was School Daze (1988), which was set in a historically black school and focused mostly on the conflict between the school and the Fraternities, of which he was a strong critic, portraying them as materialistic, irresponsible, and uncaring. Lee went on to do his landmark film, Do the Right Thing (1989), a movie specifically about his own town in Brooklyn, New York. The movie portrayed a neighborhood on a very hot day, and the racial tensions that emerge. The movie garnered an Oscar nomination, for Danny Aiello, for supporting actor. It also sparked a debate on racial relations. Lee went on to produce the jazz biopic Mo' Better Blues (1990) which showed his talent for directing and acting, and was the first of many Spike Lee films to feature Denzel Washington. His next film, Jungle Fever (1991), was about interracial dating. Lee's handling of the subject proved yet again highly controversial. Lee's next film was the self-titled biography of Malcolm X (1992), which had Denzel Washington portraying the civil rights leader. The movie was a success, and resulted in an Oscar nomination for Washington. His next films were the comparatively light, Crooklyn (1994), and the intense crime drama, Clockers (1995). In 1996, Lee directed two movies: the badly received comedy, Girl 6 (1996), and the politically pointed, Get on the Bus (1996), about a group of men going to the Million Man March. His next film, He Got Game (1998), proved to be another excursion into the collegiate world as he shows the darker side of recruiting college athletes. The movie, in limited release, yet again featured Denzel Washington. In 2000 came Bamboozled which made a mockery out of television and the way African-Americans are perceived by white America and the way African-Americans perceive themselves. The movie, however, was a resounding critical success. Lee also has produced films like New Jersey Drive (1995), Tales from the Hood (1995), and Drop Squad (1994). He also has produced and or directed movies about Huey P. Newton, Jim Brown, and has commented in many documentaries about varied subjects. With pointed political messages, insightful, different and intelligent films, Spike Lee has become a well known political presence. He looks likely to have further success in the film business. Lee is an obsessive New York Knicks fan. He and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, have two children.

Most frequent genres for this person: Documentaries | Drama | Comedies

Known for these Movies & Shows

Awards & Nominations for Spike Lee

Primetime Emmy Awards George Polk Awards NAACP Image Award – Hall of Fame Award Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Honorary César BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Honorary Award American Society of Cinematographers Award Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film Academy Award for Best Director Academy Award for Best Picture Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
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Movies with Spike Lee as Actor(68)

as Mars Blackmon2022 Seen It All
as himself2022 Sidney
as himself2017 Birth of a Movement
as himself2015 Champs
as Mr. Mookie2012 Red Hook Summer
as himself2012 Brooklyn Boheme
as himself2012 Bad 25
as himself2011 Guest
as himself2011 A Man's Story
as himself2009 Kobe Doin' Work
as himself2009 PoliWood
as himself2007 Pixote In Memoriam
as himself2005 Street Fight
as himself2002 We Wuz Robbed
as Filmmaker2001 3 A.M.
as himself2000 Lisa Picard Is Famous
as John Jeffries1999 Summer of Sam
as Interviewer (voice) (uncredited)1997 4 Little Girls
as Self (archive footage)1996 The Universal Story
as Jimmy1996 Girl 6
as himself1996 When We Were Kings
as Chucky1995 Clockers
as himself1994 A Century of Cinema
as Snuffy1994 Crooklyn
as himself1994 Hoop Dreams
as himself1993 Farewell, Babylon!
as himself1993 The Last Party
as Shorty1992 Malcolm X
as Cyrus1991 Jungle Fever
as himself1990 Lonely in America
as Giant1990 Mo' Better Blues
as himself1989 Decade
as Mookie1989 Do the Right Thing
as Darrell 'Half-Pint' Dunlap1988 School Daze
as Mars Blackmon1986 She's Gotta Have It

TV Shows/Series with Spike Lee as Actor(24)

as himself2022 They Call Me Magic
as himself2021 Pretend It's a City
as Self (archive footage)2021 This Is Pop
as himself2020 Dear…
as Self - Guest2019 Tamron Hall
as Self - Illustrious Guest2019 Desus & Mero
as Drum Major2017 She's Gotta Have It
as Himself (archive footage)2011 Half in the Bag
as himself2005 It's the Shoes
as himself2002 Johnny Vaughan Tonight
as himself1999 The Early Show
as himself1997 The View
as himself1996 The Daily Show
as Special Agent Pete1992 Ghostwriter
as Special Agent Pete (archive footage)1992 Ghostwriter
as Mars Blackmon1975 Saturday Night Live
as Self (uncredited)1975 Saturday Night Live
as himself1971 Great Performances

Movies with Spike Lee as Crew(154)

Directing/Director2023 Prince of Cats
Writing/Screenplay2023 Prince of Cats
Production/Executive Producer2023 In Freedom
Directing/Director2023 Untitled Viagra Musical
Production/Producer2023 Untitled Viagra Musical
Writing/Writer2023 Untitled Viagra Musical
Directing/Director2022 Seen It All
Production/Executive Producer2022 You Resemble Me
Production/Executive Producer2021 Son of the South
Directing/Director2020 Da 5 Bloods
Production/Producer2020 Da 5 Bloods
Writing/Writer2020 Da 5 Bloods
Directing/Director2020 New York New York
Production/Executive Producer2020 Tales from the Hood 3
Directing/Director2020 David Byrne's American Utopia
Production/Executive Producer2020 David Byrne's American Utopia
Production/Producer2019 See You Yesterday
Production/Executive Producer2018 Tales from the Hood 2
Production/Executive Producer2018 The Black 14
Production/Executive Producer2018 Cherish
Directing/Director2018 BlacKkKlansman
Production/Producer2018 BlacKkKlansman
Writing/Screenplay2018 BlacKkKlansman
Production/Executive Producer2018 Nigerian Prince
Directing/Director2018 Pass Over
Production/Producer2018 Pass Over
Production/Producer2018 Amazing Grace
Production/Executive Producer2018 Time 2 Surrender
Directing/Director2017 Rodney King
Production/Producer2017 Rodney King
Production/Executive Producer2016 Touched with Fire
Directing/Director2016 2 Fists Up
Production/Producer2016 2 Fists Up
Directing/Director2015 Ray Allen/AKA- Jesus Shuttlesworth
Production/Executive Producer2015 The Girl Is in Trouble
Production/Executive Producer2015 Cronies
Directing/Director2015 Chi-Raq
Production/Producer2015 Chi-Raq
Writing/Writer2015 Chi-Raq
Crew/Thanks2015 Stop
Directing/Director2014 Go Brasil Go!
Production/Producer2014 Katt Williams: Priceless: Afterlife
Production/Executive Producer2014 Dirty Hands
Production/Executive Producer2014 Evolution of a Criminal
Directing/Director2014 Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
Production/Producer2014 Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
Writing/Screenplay2014 Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
Directing/Director2013 Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth
Production/Executive Producer2013 Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth
Directing/Director2013 Oldboy
Production/Producer2013 Oldboy
Crew/Presenter2012 Una Noche
Directing/Director2012 Red Hook Summer
Writing/Screenplay2012 Red Hook Summer
Production/Executive Producer2012 You're Nobody 'til Somebody Kills You
Directing/Director2012 Bad 25
Production/Executive Producer2011 Pariah
Production/Executive Producer2011 Doubles with Slight Pepper
Production/Executive Producer2010 Saint John of Las Vegas
Directing/Director2009 Passing Strange
Directing/Director2009 Kobe Doin' Work
Production/Producer2009 Kobe Doin' Work
Directing/Director2009 Do the Right Thing: 20 Years Later
Camera/Camera Operator2008 Genesis: Come Rain or Shine
Directing/Director2008 Miracle at St. Anna
Production/Producer2008 Miracle at St. Anna
Directing/Director2006 Inside Man
Directing/Director2005 All the Invisible Children
Directing/Director2004 Sucker Free City
Directing/Director2004 She Hate Me
Production/Producer2004 She Hate Me
Writing/Screenplay2004 She Hate Me
Production/Executive Producer2003 Good Fences
Directing/Director2002 Jim Brown: All-American
Production/Producer2002 Jim Brown: All-American
Directing/Director2002 Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet
Production/Producer2002 Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet
Directing/Director2002 25th Hour
Production/Producer2002 25th Hour
Directing/Director2002 We Wuz Robbed
Directing/Director2001 A Huey P. Newton Story
Production/Executive Producer2001 Home Invaders
Production/Producer2001 3 A.M.
Production/Co-Executive Producer2001 3 A.M.
Directing/Director2001 The Concert for New York City
Directing/Director2001 The Making of 'Bamboozled'
Directing/Director2000 Bamboozled
Production/Producer2000 Bamboozled
Writing/Screenplay2000 Bamboozled
Production/Producer2000 Love & Basketball
Directing/Director2000 The Original Kings of Comedy
Production/Producer2000 The Original Kings of Comedy
Directing/Director1999 Summer of Sam
Production/Producer1999 Summer of Sam
Writing/Screenplay1999 Summer of Sam
Production/Producer1999 The Best Man
Directing/Director1998 John Leguizamo: Freak
Directing/Director1998 He Got Game
Production/Producer1998 He Got Game
Writing/Screenplay1998 He Got Game
Directing/Director1997 HIStory on Film, Volume II
Directing/Director1997 4 Little Girls
Production/Producer1997 4 Little Girls
Writing/Writer1997 4 Little Girls
Directing/Director1996 Get on the Bus
Production/Executive Producer1996 Get on the Bus
Directing/Director1996 Girl 6
Production/Producer1996 Girl 6
Directing/Director1995 Clockers
Production/Producer1995 Clockers
Writing/Screenplay1995 Clockers
Production/Executive Producer1995 New Jersey Drive
Production/Executive Producer1995 Tales from the Hood
Directing/Director1995 Lumière and Company
Production/Executive Producer1994 Drop Squad
Directing/Director1994 Crooklyn
Production/Producer1994 Crooklyn
Writing/Screenplay1994 Crooklyn
Directing/Director1992 Malcolm X
Production/Producer1992 Malcolm X
Writing/Screenplay1992 Malcolm X
Crew/Thanks1991 Suspect
Directing/Director1991 Jungle Fever
Production/Producer1991 Jungle Fever
Writing/Writer1991 Jungle Fever
Directing/Director1990 Mo' Better Blues
Production/Producer1990 Mo' Better Blues
Writing/Writer1990 Mo' Better Blues
Directing/Director1989 Do the Right Thing
Production/Producer1989 Do the Right Thing
Writing/Screenplay1989 Do the Right Thing
Directing/Director1988 School Daze
Production/Producer1988 School Daze
Writing/Writer1988 School Daze
Directing/Director1986 Horn of Plenty
Writing/Writer1986 Horn of Plenty
Directing/Director1986 She's Gotta Have It
Editing/Editor1986 She's Gotta Have It
Production/Producer1986 She's Gotta Have It
Writing/Writer1986 She's Gotta Have It
Directing/Director1981 Sarah
Directing/Director1980 The Answer

TV Shows/Series with Spike Lee as Crew(14)

Production/Executive Producer2022 The Captain
Production/Producer2021 NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½
Directing/Director2021 NYC Epicenters 9/11➔2021½
Crew/Creator2017 She's Gotta Have It
Directing/Director2017 She's Gotta Have It
Creator/Creator2017 She's Gotta Have It
Directing/Director2006 Shark
Directing/Director2005 Miracle's Boys

Additional Information

Official websites:
Full Name: Jackson Lee
Born: Wednesday, 03/20 1957 (March) in Atlanta, Georgia (United States of America (USA)) (current age: 67 years + 70 days)
Zodiac sign: Pisces (Chinese zodiac sign: Rooster)
Languages: English (EN, native language)
Educated at: New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Morehouse College, John Dewey High School
Employer: New York University, Harvard University, Columbia University
Member of: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Writers Guild of America, East
Spouses (current/former): Tonya Lewis Lee
Siblings: David Lee, Joie Lee, Cinqué Lee
Father: Bill Lee
Related to: Malcolm D. Lee, Cliff Lee
Other names for Spike Lee (nicknames, foreign languages etc.):
"Спайк Ли"
"سبايك لي"
"스파이크 리"
"สไปค์ ลี"
"Σπάικ Λι"
Spike Lee frequently works together with these people:
Andy Samberg (31x, Actor)
Bill Hader (24x, Actor)
Terence Blanchard (24x, Crew)
Kenan Thompson (20x, Actor)
Fred Armisen (19x, Actor)
Kristen Wiig (18x, Actress)
Jon Kilik (18x, Crew)
Will Forte (15x, Actor)
Joie Lee (15x, Actress)
Samuel L. Jackson (14x, Actor)
Ruth E. Carter (14x, Crew)
WatchPlayStream ID: PEOPLE:4133, Added: 03/23/2018, Last updated: 05/11/2024