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John Sayles
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Filmmaker
    (September 28, 1950- )
    Born in Schenectady, New York
    Wrote and directed 'Return of the Secaucus 7' (1979), 'Baby It's You' (1983), 'The Brother From Another Planet' (1984), 'Matewan' (1987), 'Eight Men Out' (1988), 'City of Hope' (1991), 'Passion Fish' (1992), 'The Secret of Roan Innish' (1994), 'Lone Star' (1996), 'Limbo' (1999), 'Sunshine State' (2002), Silver City' (2004), 'Honeydripper' (2007) and 'Amigo' (2010)
    Wrote screenplays for 'Piranha' (1978), 'Alligator' (1980), 'Battle Beyond the Stars' (1981), 'The Howling' (1981), 'Clan of the Cave Bear' (1986) and 'Wild Thing' (1987)
    Appeared in the films 'Something Wild' (1986), 'Malcolm X' (1992), 'Matinee' (1993) and 'Gridlock'd' (1997)
    Created the TV series 'Shannon's Deal' (1989)
    Wrote the novels 'Pride of the Bimbos' (1975), 'Union Dues' (1977), 'Los Gusanos' (1991) and 'A Moment in the Sun' (2001)
    He was drafted, but was rejected by the Army because he was missing a vertebra (1968).
    Before going into films, he worked various odd jobs, including meat packer, construction worker, and orderly in a nursing home.
    He described his career arc as 'I was catapulted from total obscurity to relative obscurity.'
    He earns far more as an anonymous script doctor than as a director.
    He said, 'There seems to be a kind of mutual understanding between Hollywood and me. Most of what they make I wouldn't be interested in directing, and most of what I make they have no idea how to sell.'
    He won an O. Henry Award for his first published short story.
    He finances his films with the money he earns as a script doctor.
    He has been called the father of independent filmmaking.
    He frequently works with actors David Strathairn (his former college classmate) and Chris Cooper, casting them each in four of his films.
    He won a MacArthur Foundation 'genius grant.' (1983)
    He said about his refusal to work within the Hollywood system, 'If I never get to direct again, I will have made some movies I can feel proud of.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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