Steven Soderbergh

On this date in 1963, filmmaker Steven Andrew 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.” He 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).

Soderbergh also directed “Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007), “The Informant!” (2009), “Contagion” (2011), “Haywire” (2012) and “Side Effects” in 2013 before announcing his retirement from filmmaking. He later returned to direct “Mosaic,” a six-part HBO miniseries starring Sharon Stone. Several other directing projects, including “Logan Lucky,” “Unsane,” “High Flying Bird” and “The Laundromat” continued in 2017-19.

Freedom From Religion Foundation