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David Cronenberg


Born: 15 March 1943
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Best known as:


The director of The Fly and A Dangerous Method


Filmmaker David Cronenberg is famous for gruesome horror films as well as mainstream art house movies, from Videodrome and The Fly to Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method. A native of Toronto, Cronenberg's literary ambitions in college took a turn toward the cinema, and he began making experimental films in the mid-1960s. He made his first feature film in 1969, but it wasn't until the late 1970s and early '80s that Cronenberg got international notice, thanks to horror films such as Rabid (1977), Scanners (1981) and Videodrome (1983). He had a box office hit with the Jeff Goldblum horror/romance remake The Fly (1986), and followed that with what some critics called a "masterpiece," a tale of twin perverts called Dead Ringers (1988, starring Jeremy Irons). During the 1990s Cronenberg amassed artistic street cred with film versions of the offbeat literary classics Naked Lunch (1991, based on the William S. Burroughs book) and Crash (1997, based on the the J.G. Ballard book), and in the 2000s he emerged with a reputation as a mature auteur. A favorite of the film festival crowd, Cronenberg makes cerebral, anxious and sometimes gory dramas that get mainstream distribution, thanks in part to the star power of actors like Viggo Mortensen (2005's A History of Violence, 2007's Eastern Promises and 2011's A Dangerous Method) and Robert Pattinson (2012's Cosmopolis, based on the novel by Don DeLillo). Cronenberg's other films include The Dead Zone (1983, starring Christopher Walken), Existenz (1999, starring Jude Law) and Spider (2002, starring Ralph Fiennes).

Extra credit:


Since 1986 (The Fly), David Cronenberg's sister, Denise Cronenberg, has done the costume design on more than a dozen of his films.

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More on David Cronenberg from Infoplease:

  • David Cronenberg - Biography of David Cronenberg, The director of The Fly and A Dangerous Method
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