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Barry Levinson

Barry Levinson is an American filmmaker, screenwriter, director and producer. After some success as a screenwriter (Silent Movie, 1976 and High Anxiety, 1977), he had his breaktrough as a director with Diner(1982), for which he had also written the script and which earned him a Best Screenplay Oscar nomination. Diner was the first of a series of films that look back to his childhood and adolescence in Baltimore. Other films in this slightly autobiographical vein were Tin Men(1987), starring Richard Dreyfuss and Danny de Vito, and the turn-of-the century immigrant family saga Avalon which saw Elijah Wood in one of his earliest screen appearances - as well as the more recent Liberty Heights (1999). All three movies were written and directed by Barry Levinson himself, for the last two he also acted as producer.

Other crucial films in his directing career were Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) with Robin Williams, Rain Man (1988) with Dustin Hoffman and a young Tom Cruise, and Bugsy (1991) with Warren Beatty.

He directed Dustin Hoffman again in Wag the Dog (1997), a political comedy about a war staged in a film studio. He is also credited as an unofficial co-writer on Dustin Hoffman's transvestite comedy Tootsie (1982).

Apart from producing many of his own films, he has also been producer or executive producer for such major productions as The Perfect Storm (directed by Wolfgang Petersen, 2000), Analyze that (2002, starring Robert de Niro as psychotic mafia boss and Billy Christal as his shrink), and Possession (2002, based on the bestselling novel by A. S. Byatt).

External link: IMDB listing