[Ed. note: this post is in honor of Spielberg's 68th birthday today.]
You know him as the director who brought us Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, and Saving Private Ryan, among many other films. But there’s probably a lot that you didn’t know about Steven Spielberg. In honor of the filmmaker's 68th birthday today, let's learn some more about him.
* The first movie Steven Spielberg ever saw was The Greatest Show on Earth (1953).
* He has never had a cup of coffee in his entire life. Steven has never liked the smell of coffee and has never had the desire to try it.
* Steven has one of the largest gun collections on the East Coast. He shoots, but only privately.
* His all-time favorite cartoon character is Daffy Duck.
* He cast his cocker spaniel, Elmer, in several of his films, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1941, The Sugarland Express, and Jaws.
* During the filming of a 1969 episode of Night Gallery, Steven gave Joan Crawford the gift of a single red rose in a Pepsi bottle. During a conversation with a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, Joan pointed to Steven and said, “Go interview that kid because he's going to be the biggest director of all-time.” She and Steven remained good friends until her death in 1977.
* According to Teri Garr, Elvis Presley's Viva Las Vegas (1964) is one of Steven's favorite movies.
* He has the original “Rosebud" sled from Citizen Kane in his home.
* He is the only Oscar-winning director of a “Best Picture" to be paid nothing for his directorial chores. He asked to be paid nothing for his direction of Schindler's List (1993).
* Steven has a phobia about "furniture with feet.”
* He nicknamed the mechanical shark in Jaws “Bruce" in honor of his lawyer.
* He is a lifelong fan of the James Bond 007 films. He says his favorite Bond girl is Honor Blackman.
* He is an excellent shot with a shotgun. According to actor Shia LaBeouf, “He's an Olympic shot. The hand-eye coordination of the man is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
* Steven says his favorite curse word is “Rats!"
* He enjoys watching golf on TV. He loves the shows Doctor Who and Cops. He also loves computer games, especially his beloved Assassin's Creed.
* He would get very depressed while directing Schindler's List because of the film's subject matter. He would talk to Robin Williams over the phone every week and Robin would tell him jokes to make him laugh and cheer him up.
* Steven has not only directed and produced movies, but has has a few acting gigs, including roles in both The Blues Brothers (1980) and the Austin Powers movie Goldmember (2002).
* Steven's says his all-time top ten favorite movies are:
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Citizen Kane (1940)
It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
A Guy named Joe (1943)
The War of the Worlds (1953)
Day for Night (1973)
The Godfather (1972)
(Title image credit: Georges Biard)