It’s pretty tough to win an Oscar and there are plenty of top actors and directors who are yet to do so. When it comes to directors, though, New York is the birthplace of a good few and some of them have found themselves among the ranks of Academy Award winners.
With the next awards show set for the end of March, there are several filmmakers vying for the Best Director Award, and odds on who will snag it are already available from lots of the top bookmakers, including Caesars New York.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the top Academy Award-winning directors from said state.
Mel Gibson has been one of the most popular actors over the years but has also made his name as a director. He turned down the idea of filmmaking when it was put to him in 1989, according to Robert Downey Jr., but made his directorial debut in 1993 with The Man Without a Face.
He followed that up with Braveheart two years later and would win an Academy Award for Best Actor. The film also won Best Picture. Another of his movies, Hacksaw Ridge, won two Oscars as well.
In 2004, Gibson released the controversial The Passion of the Christ. Despite the backlash, it became the highest-grossing rated R film of all time with $370,782,930 in U.S box office sales. He also directed Apocalypto in 2006.
As an actor, Gibson got his big break in George Miller’s Mad Max. The low-budget blockbuster saw him become an international star and he later went on to star in films such as the Lethal Weapon series, Maverick, Ransom, Conspiracy Theory, and The Patriot.
The Queens-born filmmaker is one of the most respected in his field after treating the world to some of the most iconic mobster films in film history.
Scorsese studied film at New York University and began his work as a director for producer Roger Corman. He directed Boxcar Bertha for Corman in 1972 before making Mean Streets the following year; the movie launched the careers of Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel, putting Scorsese on the map too.
He went on to direct the likes of Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Taxi Driver, the latter of which made DeNiro a legit star. Scorsese has directed nine films featuring DeNiro to date.
Scorsese has made several movies detailing the activities of the mob and organized crime, with Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York, and The Departed, which won him an Oscar for Best Director in 2006. The film won Best Picture that year as well.
Scorsese dropped another mobster hit, The Irishman, in 2019 and is set to take on something new, with his first Western, Killers of the Flower Moon, expected to launch this year.
Jordan Peele became the first African-American to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for his directing of Get Out in 2017 – the horror film also made him the first African-American to nick a $100 million debut.
Peele made his foray into entertainment after leaving Sarah Lawrence College to try his hand at comedy and got his break when he joined comedy show MADtv in 2003. It’s also where he met Michael-Keegan Key, who was his partner on the Key & Peele sketch series that ran from 2012 to 2015.
The 42-year-old has made several guest appearances in comedy shows and made waves with his Barack Obama impersonation while the former U.S President was in office.
He starred in the 2016 comedy film, Keanu, alongside Key, and went on to make his directorial debut the following year with Get Out, a $5 million film that earned over $33 million on its opening weekend. His next horror film, Us, more than doubled Get Out’s opening weekend earnings two years later.
Richard O. Fleischer won an Academy Award for the documentary Design for Death in 1947, having directed films from the early 1940s to the late 1980s. Fleischer was sort of born into the business, with his father, Max Fleischer, claiming his own fame for animating cartoons such as Popeye the Sailor and Betty Boop.
Fleischer studied medicine at Brown University before switching to drama at Yale and entered the movie business when he was invited to write for newsreels in New York and then in Los Angeles. He was directing B-movie crime thrillers like The Narrow Margin and Violent Sunday by the early 1950s.
He is known for directing more popular films such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Doctor Doolittle, Silent Green, and Conan the Destroyer.
It wasn’t all success for the New York City native as he is responsible for flops including The Vikings, Barrabas, Che!, and The Jazz Singer.
Other successful films include The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing, Compulsion, Fantastic Voyage, The Boston Strangler, Mr. Majestyk, and Red Sonja.
Fleischer died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 86 in 2006.
On another note, the O. in his name doesn’t actually stand for anything and was only put in there due to a mixup at the hospital when he was born.