Born: 30 July 1960
Birthplace: Houston, Texas
Best known as: Director of Slackers and School of Rock
Director and writer Richard Linklater's first nationally distributed feature, Slackers (1991), thrust him into the spotlight as a talented, self-taught filmmaker. A native of Texas, Linklater helped found the the Austin Film Society and started making his own movies in the early 1980s. Along with a handful of others, including contemporaries Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Wes Anderson, Linklater showed that independent films could compete in the marketplace with big-budget Hollywood productions. Throughout the 1990s he made critically acclaimed movies known for their unusual narratives and clever dialogue, including Dazed and Confused (1993, with future stars Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck), SubUrbia (1996) and Before Sunrise (1995, with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy). His first mainstream production, The Newton Boys (1998, with Skeet Ulrich) didn't fare well at the box office, but 2003's School of Rock (starring Jack Black) was a big hit and proved Linklater was not simply a maverick with a cult following. His other films include the animated feature Waking Life (2001), Before Sunset (2004) (a sequel to Before Sunrise), Bad News Bears (2005, with Billy Bob Thornton), Fast Food Nation (2006) and Me and Orson Welles (2009, starring Zac Effron).
Extra credit: For his 2006 film of Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, Linklater used the same innovative animation technique as in Waking Life... some sources give 1961 as Linklater's birth year.
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