(1942 - )
Barry Levinson is a Jewish American screenwriter, film director, actor and producer.
Levinson (born April 6, 1942) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. He later attended American University in Washington, DC.
Levinson's first writing work was for variety shows and after some early success as a screenwriter in the late 1970s, Levinson began his career as a director with Diner (1982), for which he had also wrote the script. Diner earned Levinson his first Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.
Like Diner, Levinson set many of his works in his hometown of Baltimore. Other Levinson movies set in Baltimore are Tin Men (1987), starring Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito; Avalon, which featured Elijah Wood, and Liberty Heights (1999).
By far Levinson's biggest hit was Rain Man (1988), which starred Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Other notable films include the baseball saga The Natural (1984), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Toys (1992), Bugsy (1991) and Wag the Dog (1997).
Levinson served as producer or executive director for The Perfect Storm (2000) and for the TV series' Homicide and Oz.
In 2010, Levinson received the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement from the Writers Guild of America.