Born: 23 March 1910
Died: 6 September 1998
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Best known as: Legendary Japanese movie director
Akira Kurosawa was an unsuccessful painter who turned to making movies in Japan in the late 1930s. He got the attention of the rest of the world in 1951, with Rashomon, his first of many films to star Toshiro Mifune. Several of Kurosawa's samurai films have been turned into westerns, including Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, and George Lucas has said that his film Star Wars was inspired by Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress. By the end of his career Kurosawa had come to be regarded as one of Japan's greatest directors.
Extra credit: Kurosawa, a harsh taskmaster on the set, had the nickname "The Emperor."
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