Date of Birth: March 27, 1963
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee to a 16-year-old nursing student mother and a 21-year-old law student/aspiring actor father, Quentin Tarantino and his parents moved to Los Angeles when he was two. When he was just eight, his mother began taking him to restricted movies such as Carnal Knowledge (1971) and Deliverance (1972). He developed an obsession for films and in his early twenties he worked in a video store while taking acting lessons. With no experience as an actor, Tarantino listed phony credits on his resumé, saying he'd had roles in the films Dawn of the Dead (1978) and King Lear (1987).
He also began writing scripts, and in 1988 he wrote the screenplay for Natural Born Killers. He followed that up with True Romance in 1990. At about this time, Tarantino had gotten a job at a small Hollywood production company doing rewrites. A friend who knew actor Harvey Keitel showed the famous actor Tarantino's third script, called Reservoir Dogs. Keitel was so impressed with the screenplay that he worked to get it produced by rounding up financing, taking a role in the film and even helping with the casting. Tarantino directed and also made his acting debut in the film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992. The ultra-violent film won awards from film festivals around the world, and was picked up by Miramax for distribution.
Tarantino was an instant success and his previous screenplays were immediately bought up and made into films. True Romance (1993) was directed by Tony Scott and Natural Born Killers (1994) was directed by Oliver Stone. However, Tarantino angrily demanded that his credit on Natural Born Killers be purely for story, as he felt that Stone had changed his screenplay so much that it was unrecognizable. Meanwhile, Tarantino was busy writing his next screenplay, Pulp Fiction. The film was released in 1994 and became Tarantino's biggest success to date. Because he had fond memories of watching John Travolta on television when he was a child, Tarantino chose the actor, who hadn't had a success in years, for the starring role of Vincent Vega in the film, giving Travolta a second shot at stardom.
The film won much critical acclaim as well as doing big business at the box office, grossing over 100 million dollars worldwide. Nominated for seven Academy Awards, it won one, for Best Original Screenplay. Tarantino also received a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award for his screenplay, as well as awards from festivals around the world, including the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival.
It was a hard act to follow, and Tarantino decided to direct one fourth of an anthology called Four Rooms (1995) with three of his friends. Unfortunately, it received weak reviews and bombed at the box office, as did his next big picture, Jackie Brown (1997), despite a cast loaded with stars such as Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro and Bridget Fonda.
In 2000, he played a small role in Adam Sandler's film Little Nicky, but returned to directing and writing with Kill Bill (2003), starring Uma Thurman as a hit woman out for revenge. In 2010 he received two more Academy Award nominations for his directorial work and original screenplay for Inglourious Basterds (2009). Showcasing actors such as Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Michael Fassbender and Christoph Waltz—whose performance earned an Oscar—the work delves into the armed conflict of the Second World War.
For his next feature film, he once again relied on the talent of Christoph Waltz—who received a second Oscar for his work in the movie—as well as Jamie Foxx in the title role of the western Django Unchained (2012), about a black slave who, with the help of a German hitman, goes to rescue his imprisoned wife. Quentin won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his screenplay.
His drama The Hateful Eight (2015) also won an Oscar and a Golden Globe, but this time for the score by Ennio Morricone.
Tarantino took it upon himself to rewrite the story of the Charles Manson murders for the comedy/drama Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. The film received a number of nominations and awards, including nominations in the directing category for Tarantino at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTAs. He also was nominated at all three awards shows for his original screenplay, and went on to win his third Golden Globe.
Tarantino collects old TV show lunch boxes and board games. In November 2018, at 55, he married for the first time, to Israeli singer Daniela Pick.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Jackie Brown (1997)
Four Rooms (1995)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)