JONATHAN DEMME Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » jonathan demme


Name: Robert Jonathan Demme                                                             
Born: 22 February 1944 Baldwin, Long Island, New York, U.S.                             
Robert Jonathan Demme (born February 22, 1944) is an Academy Award-winning             
American film director, producer and writer.                                           
Demme was born in Baldwin, New York, the son of Dorothy Demme and a public             
relations executive father. Demme has three children and is a graduate of the           
University of Florida. He also was the uncle of director Ted Demme, who died in         
Demme broke into feature film directing working for Roger Corman. His first             
mainstream feature Melvin and Howard caught the eye of Hollywood and he was             
signed to direct the Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell vehicle Swing Shift. The             
compromised production saw Demme withdraw for a time from major feature films           
making a notable series of 'concert films' with Stop Making Sense and Swimming         
to Cambodia. He continues to alternate making feature films with documentaries         
and concert/performance films. For instance, he was the executive producer for         
his longtime friend Nancy Savoca's Household Saints.                                   
In 1991, Demme won the Academy Award for The Silence of the Lambs—one of the few     
films to win all the major categories (best film, best director, best screenplay,       
best actor, and best actress). Demme directed an Oscar-winning turn from Tom           
Hanks in his next feature, Philadelphia. His 2007 documentary Man From Plains           
about Jimmy Carter promoting the book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid                   
premiered at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals.                                     
One of his common directorial motifs is to allow characters to look directly           
into the camera. Demme formed his production company, Clinica Estetico, with           
producers Edward Saxon and Peter Saraf. They were based out of New York for             
fifteen years.