Steven Soderbergh

On this date in 1963, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh was born in Atlanta. He grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, among other residences that are "not places you'd expect to find someone growing up to be a left-winger, let alone an atheist," as The [London] Observer put it in a profile ("What a lucky Soderbergh," Jan. 7, 2001). Although his father was a professor at Louisiana State University, Soderbergh skipped college and got into directing early. He won a Grammy nomination for producing the music video, "Yes: 9012 Live" (1986). His short subject film, "Winston" (1987), was the precursor to his breakthrough "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" (1989). Soderbergh's "Erin Brockovich" and "Traffic" (both released in 2000) wowed at the 2001 Oscars, where he was nominated as "best director" of both, and won for "Traffic." Soderbergh often casts fellow freethinker George Clooney, who has appeared in such Soderbergh films as "Out of Sight" (1998), "Ocean's Eleven" (2003), "Solaris" (2002), and "Ocean's Twelve" (2004).

“[Do you believe in God?] No.”

—Steven Soderbergh, in answer to a question posed by the "A.V. Club" section of The Onion newspaper, Sept. 7-13, 2000.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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