Oliver Stone’s BiographyOliver Stone is an American director, scriptwriter, and producer who gave this world masterpieces such as Platoon (1986), Wall Street (1987), Natural Born Killers (1994), and Alexander (2004). He is the author of the scripts for iconic movies: Scarface starring Al Pacino (1983) and Midnight Express (1978). In 2017 he released a series of video interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
ChildhoodOliver was born on September 15, 1946, in New York; his mother, Jacqueline Goddet, was French and his father, Louis Stone (born Silverstein), a stockbroker, was Jewish. Oliver’s parents met during World War II; Louis, as well as other American soldiers, were sent to assist French troops.
In 1964, Oliver graduated from school and entered Yale University; however, he didn’t stay there long. He quit his studies in 1965 and taught English to South Vietnamese students for the next six months; then he got the job of a janitor on a military ship. Eventually, he came back to Yale but was expelled, partly due to the fact that he spent more time working on his autobiography than studying. In 1997, this autobiography was published under the title of A Child’s Night Dream; the release of its screen version is planned for 2018.
Rifle Swapped for CameraAfter coming back from the army, the future director started studying Fine Arts at New York University with Martin Scorsese as his mentor. In 1971 he presented his debut 12-minute short film Last Year in Viet Nam, narrated by a soldier who fought in Vietnam.
This was the beginning of his long journey to fame; he worked as a taxi driver, an assistant at a film studio, a mail peddler, and a teller. During this time he managed to film a low-budget horror movie Seizure (1974). The premiere of his second feature-length horror movie The Hand took place in 1979. The movie tells of an artist who has lost his right hand in a car accident caused by his wife. The lost part of the body starts taking revenge on everyone who has offended its owner.
A year later, Michael Cimino’s criminal drama Year of the Dragon, based on Oliver Stone’s script, was released. Incidentally, in the early ‘80s, Oliver worked on scripts for movies that had little art value and were marked by numerous scenes of violence. Later, he reconsidered his standpoint and filmed a number of political movies: Salvador in 1986, for instance.
Antiwar MoviesThe critics say that Oliver Stone’s movies may well be used to study the modern history of America. For example, the director made antiwar movies, such as Born on the Fourth of July and Platoon with Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen and Forest Whitaker. Both masterpieces won Oscars. Another antiwar movie by Oliver Stone was Heaven & Earth (1993). He knew firsthand what war was like and impressed millions of viewers by his portrayal of it. Stone himself appeared in the movie in a cameo role as an officer in the bunker.
Oliver Stone’s Personal LifeOliver Stone has been married three times. His first wife was the Lebanese beauty, Najwa Sarkis. The marriage lasted 6 years, from 1971 to 1976.
In 1981 Stone said his vows for the second time. The lucky girl was Elizabeth Cox, the director’s assistant. They had two sons: Sean (born 1984) and Michael (born 1991). As a boy, Sean played in a few of his father’s movies; when he grew up he joined the Russia Today media company. Oliver and Elizabeth divorced in 1993.