Steven Spielberg: The man behind the camera

Published 1:23 PM ET, Tue December 17, 2013
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Steven Spielberg, who turns 67 on Wednesday, December 18, has directed 27 movies over four decades and won three Academy Awards, including two for Best Director. His movies have grossed more than $9 billion, and Spielberg is worth several billion himself, according to Forbes magazine. Take a look back at the career of one of the world's greatest visual storytellers. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Spielberg, left, talks with actors Goldie Hawn, William Atherton and Michael Sacks on the set of his 1974 film "The Sugarland Express." Prior to that, Spielberg had directed television shows and made-for-TV movies. Spielberg's first film in 1964, "Firelight," was about UFOs attacking a town. UNIVERSAL PICTURES/Entertainment Pictures/
Spielberg, arms crossed, and his camera crew wade in water on the set of "Jaws" at Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. The 1975 film made $60 million in its first month, which in 2013 dollars would be equal to about $256 million. "Jaws" was the highest-grossing movie of all time until "Star Wars." Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Spielberg, right, listens to actor Richard Dreyfuss on the set of the 1977 science-fiction film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." The film earned Spielberg his first Oscar nomination for Best Director. Globe Photos/
Actor Toshiro Mifune, left, listens as Spielberg runs through a scene from "1941" with him and co-star Christopher Lee. The 1979 comedy, a satirical film about hysterical Californians preparing for a Japanese invasion after Pearl Harbor, was considered a bust. Everett Collection
Spielberg works on a miniature set for "Raiders of the Lost Ark." The 1981 movie would be the first in the highly successful Indiana Jones film franchise. Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection
Spielberg, wearing a hat, works with actors Peter Coyote, Henry Thomas and Dee Wallace during the filming of "E.T.; The Extra-Terrestrial" in 1982. As of 2013, the movie had made more than $792 million worldwide. Courtesy Everett Collection
Actress Kate Capshaw is directed by Spielberg on set of the film "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" in 1984. Capshaw, who played Indiana Jones' love interest in the movie, would later become Spielberg's future wife. The year 1984 was also when Spielberg founded his production company Amblin Entertainment. Paramount/Getty Images
Actress Whoopi Goldberg has a conversation with Spielberg during production of the 1985 film "The Color Purple." The film, an adaptation of Alice Walker's novel, was nominated for Best Picture and earned Goldberg a Best Actress nomination. Warner Brothers/Getty Images
Actor Christian Bale, left, Spielberg and John Malkovich talk on the set of "Empire of the Sun" in 1987. The film is taken from J.G. Ballard's novel based on Ballard's experiences as a boy in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection
Executive producer George Lucas, left, and Spielberg confer on the set of the film "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" in 1989. The two influential filmmakers have worked on multiple movies together. Murray Close/Getty Images
Spielberg films the 1989 movie "Always," a remake of the Spencer Tracy tale "A Guy Named Joe." It starred Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter and Audrey Hepburn in her last role before her death in 1993. United Artists / courtesy Everett Collection
Actors Julia Roberts and Robin Williams watch production footage with Spielberg on the set of the film "Hook" in 1991. Columbia Tristar/Getty Images
Spielberg sits with child actor Joseph Mazzello during the filming of "Jurassic Park" in 1993. The film, based on the science-fiction novel by Michael Crichton, is Spielberg's highest-grossing movie to date. It has made more than $914 million. Murray Close/Getty Images
Spielberg and actor Liam Neeson work on the set of "Schindler's List" in 1994. The film earned Spielberg his first Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. Also in 1994, Spielberg created the film studio DreamWorks along with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. Universal City Studios
Spielberg directs a dinosaur in the "The Lost World," the "Jurassic Park" sequel in 1997. Universal City Studios
Spielberg appears on the set of the 1997 film "Amistad" with actor Morgan Freeman. Courtesy Everett Collection
Spielberg directs actors Tom Hanks, Jeremy Davies, Tom Sizemore, Adam Goldberg and others in the war drama "Saving Private Ryan" in 1998. Spielberg won his second Best Director Oscar for the film, and he also received the U.S. Navy's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Public Service Award. Amblin Entertainment
Actor Haley Joel Osment, left, Spielberg and Jude Law work on a scene from the movie "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" in 2001. The film is about a highly advanced robotic boy longing to become "real," a real sci-fi "Pinocchio" drama. Courtesy Dreamworks/Warner Bros/Zumapress
Actor Tom Cruise, left, Spielberg and Samantha Morton shoot "Minority Report" in 2002. The film was a commercial success, making more than $300 million worldwide. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Spielberg, center, works with actors Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and Hanks on the set of "Catch Me if you Can" in 2002. DreamWorks/courtesy Everett Collection
Spielberg directs the film "The Terminal" in 2004. This was Spielberg and Hanks' third movie together. Hanks and Spielberg have also collaborated on the mini-series "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific." Dreamworks
Spielberg, left, with Cruise and Dakota Fanning on the set of "War of the Worlds" in 2005. The movie recreated the legendary science-fiction novel by H.G. Wells. Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection
Spielberg, second from left, talks with actors Daniel Craig, Hanns Zischler and Eric Bana on the set of "Munich" in 2005. The movie is based on the hostage crisis that took place during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Universal/courtesy Everett Collection
Actress Cate Blanchett, Spielberg, producer Frank Marshall and actor Harrison Ford appear on the set of the latest Indiana Jones film, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," in 2008. Paramount
Producer Peter Jackson, left, and Spielberg work on the set of "The Adventures of Tintin" in 2011. Like "Indiana Jones," "Tintin" exists in a lost world of colonial exploration and adventure. Paramount Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
Spielberg sets up a shot on the set of the 2011 film "War Horse," an epic adventure set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during World War I. DreamWorks
Spielberg, center, on the set of "Lincoln" in 2012. Daniel Day-Lewis starred in the film as U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and became the first actor in a Spielberg movie to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. courtesy Everett Collection