My Heroesby Brian_McInnis | created - 04 Oct 2013 | updated - 19 Jan 2016 | Public
Here are most of the more invaluable people of fame I've studied in any depth (those who are listed on this site, at least). Robert Ingersoll, Thomas Paine and Marcus Aurelius would all be near the top of this list if only they had I.M.D.B. pages.
'We have a choice. We have two options as human beings. We have a choice between conversation and war. That's it. Conversation and violence. And faith is a conversation stopper.'
2. Roger Ebert
Actor | Siskel & Ebert & the Movies
Roger Joseph Ebert was the all-time best-known, most successful movie critic in cinema history, when one thinks of his establishing a rapport with both serious cineastes and the movie-going public and reaching more movie fans via television and print than any other critic. He became the first and ...
'We are all allotted an unknown number of hours of consciousness.'
Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England as Charles Robert Darwin. He was married to Emma Wedgwood. He died on April 19, 1882 in Downe, Kent, England.
Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...
'The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator.
Born and raised in New York City, Tyson became interested in astronomy at the age of nine after a visit to the Hayden Planetarium. After graduating from the Bronx High School of Science, where he was ...
Writer | Days of Heaven
Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965.
A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen ...
'Let us discover the eternal, the good.'
Writer | On an Electric Night
Christopher Eric Hitchens (born April 13, 1949) was a British-American author, journalist, and literary critic. He was a columnist at Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, The Nation, Slate, and Free Inquiry.
Hitchens is known for his atheism and anti-theism and was a firm believer in the Enlightenment values ...
'We have first to transcend our prehistory and escape the gnarled hands which reach out to drag us back.'
10. Mark Twain
Writer | The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri in 1835, grew up in Hannibal. He was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River. Throughout his career, Twain served as a writer, lecturer, reporter, editor, printer, and prospector. Twain took his pen name from an alert cry used on his...
Writer | Processo e morte di Socrate
Born circa 470 B.C. in Athens. Executed in 399 B.C. by being forced by to drink a cup of hemlock after being found guilty of "refusing to recognize the gods recognized by the state" and "corrupting the youth." Two of his students had twice briefly overthrown the government of Athens, instituting a ...
13. Cormac McCarthy
Writer | The Road
Cormac McCarthy was born on July 20, 1933 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA as Charles Joseph McCarthy Jr. He is a writer, known for The Road (2009), No Country for Old Men (2007) and The Counselor (2013). He was previously married to Jennifer Claire Winkley, Anne DeLisle and Lee Holleman.
14. Studs Terkel
Actor | Eight Men Out
Studs Terkel was born on May 16, 1912 in New York City, New York, USA as Louis Terkel. He was an actor, known for Eight Men Out (1988), Medium Cool (1969) and American Playhouse (1981). He was married to Ida Goldberg. He died on October 31, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
15. Werner Herzog
Director | Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
Director. Writer. Producer. Actor. Poet. He studied history, literature and theatre for some time, but didn't finish it and founded instead his own film production company in 1963. Later in his life, Herzog also staged several operas in Bayreuth, Germany, and at the Milan Scala in Italy. Herzog has...
Director | There Will Be Blood
Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making...
17. Isaac Asimov
Writer | I, Robot
Isaac Asimov was born Isaak Judah Ozimov, on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi shtetl, near Smolensk, Russia. He was the oldest of three children. His father, named Judah Ozimov, and his mother, named Anna Rachel Ozimov (nee Berman), were Orthodox Jews. Ozimov family were millers (the name Ozimov ...
'Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes.'
18. Charlie Kaufman
Writer | Synecdoche, New York
Avid reader Charlie Kaufman wrote plays and made short films as a young student. He moved from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 where he attended high school. As a comedic actor, he performed in school plays and, after graduation, he enrolled at Boston University but soon ...
19. George MacDonald
Writer | Shirley Temple's Storybook
He was appointed minister of Trinity Congregational Church, Arundel, in 1850 but his sermons, which preached God's universal love and the possibility that none would, ultimately, fail to unite with God, met with little favor and his salary was cut in half.
'The man who loves most will love best.'
20. Steve McQueen
Director | 12 Years a Slave
Steve McQueen was born on October 9, 1969 in London, England as Steve Rodney McQueen. He is a director and writer, known for 12 Years a Slave (2013), Shame (2011) and Hunger (2008). He is married to Bianca Stigter. They have two children.
'I'm interested in human beings on film.'
21. Jack Kerouac
Writer | On the Road
Jack Kerouac was born into a French-Canadian family and spoke French before he learned English. His father was a printer and a local businessman. His first story was inspired by the radio show "The Shadow". As a young writer he styled himself after Thomas Wolfe, and attended Columbia University. ...
22. Carl Sagan
Writer | Contact
Astronomer, educator and author Carl Sagan was perhaps the world's greatest popularizer of science, reaching millions of people through newspapers, magazines and television broadcasts. He is well-known for his work on the PBS series Cosmos (1980), the Emmy Award and Peabody Award-winning show that ...
'Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us.'
25. Seth MacFarlane
Writer | Family Guy
Seth Woodbury MacFarlane was born in the small New England town of Kent, Connecticut, where he lived with his mother, Ann Perry (Sager), an admissions office worker, his father, Ronald Milton MacFarlane, a prep school teacher, and his sister, Rachael MacFarlane, now a voice actress and singer. He ...
27. Bill Murray
Actor | Lost in Translation
Bill Murray is an American actor, comedian, and writer. The fifth of nine children, he was born William James Murray in Wilmette, Illinois, to Lucille (Collins), a mailroom clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray II, who sold lumber. He is of Irish descent. Among his siblings are actors Brian Doyle-Murray, ...
28. Penn Jillette
Writer | Penn & Teller Get Killed
Penn Jillette was born on March 5, 1955 in Greenfield, Massachusetts, USA as Penn Fraser Jillette. He is a writer and producer, known for Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989), Penn & Teller: Bullshit! (2003) and Hackers (1995). He has been married to Emily Zolten Jillette since November 23, 2004...
30. Jacy Catlin
Jacy Catlin is known for his work on Found Footage Festival Volume 6: Live in Chicago (2012), Found Footage Festival Volume 5: Live in Milwaukee (2010) and The Found Footage Show (2010).
31. Douglas Adams
Writer | The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Born Douglas Noel Adams on March 11, 1952 in Cambridge. From 1959 until 1970 he went to Brentwood school in Essex, and his main interest was science. As a student in Cambridge he decided to hitch-hike through Europe to Istanbul, and in order to raise funds for this he took a lot of small jobs. In ...
British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was born in Hammersmith, London. He is the son of Daniella (Weiser), a movement instructor, and Gerald Baron Cohen, a clothing store owner. His father, born in England and raised in Wales, was of Eastern European Jewish descent, while his mother was born...
39. Orson Welles
Actor | Citizen Kane
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was six) he traveled the world with his father. He was orphaned at 15 after his father's death and became the ward of Dr. ...