Steven Spielberg’s Most Successful Works and Who Are His Family Members?

When it comes to the list of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, the name Steven Spielberg ought to be at the top. He is an influential film producer and director best known for the excellent work he carried out in directing Jaws, a commercially and critically successful movie. His other popular directorial works include Saving Private Ryan, Bridge of Spies, Amistad, Empire of the Sun, The Post, among others.

The celebrated producer started making movies right from the age of 12 and has gone ahead to make several highest-grossing movies over the years. As a result, he is ranked as the wealthiest director in the movie industry, thanks to his jaw-dropping net worth that has made him a multi-billionaire. For his efforts, he has received numerous awards and nominations for the past six decades he has been active. Given that, it is pretty hard to name his most successful work, he has pulled off many projects that are massively profitable as much as they are critically acclaimed.

Steven Spielberg is the Co-founder of DreamWorks Animation and He is Behind Several Blockbuster Project

Working as a co-founder of DreamWorks Animation and Amblin Entertainment, Steven Spielberg has been credited with the production of several box office hit movies such as Transformers, Back to the Future, Men in Black, and others. His gongs include the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Primetime Emmy, Daytime Emmy, International Emmy Awards, American Film Institute Awards, and much more.

He has also been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Thanks to his works which have made him one of the greatest filmmakers in history. A director, producer, and screenwriter, out of the many successful projects under his belt, the following are the crème de la crème of his works.

1. Jaws

  • Release Date: June 20, 1975
  • Running Time: 124 Minutes
  • Budget: $9 Million
  • Box Office: $472 Million
  • Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, and Murray Hamilton

Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider in Jaws: Image Source

Steven Spielberg directed the thriller film based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel of the same title. It was released to a massive emotional and critical response. And would later be selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry; this happened in 2001.

Jaws received positive reviews from various quarters and won several of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry. It won three Academy Awards, a Grammy Award, Favorite Movie at the People’s Choice Awards, and much more. Regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time, the thriller would inspire many horror films in the years that followed and has spewed many sequels.

2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

  • Release Date: May 26, 1982
  • Running Time: 114 Minutes
  • Budget: $10.5 Million
  • Box Office: $792.9 Million
  • Starring: Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, and Henry Thomas

Henry Thomas in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Image Source

Steven Spielberg directed this blockbuster which he also co-produced with Kathleen Kennedy. Written by Mellissa Mathison, the science fiction revolves around a boy who befriends an extraterrestrial stranded on Earth known as E.T. It was said that Steven derived the film’s story from his parent’s divorce.

The movie received positive reviews across the globe and Leonard Maltin, the famous film critic would name it among his 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century. Among the many accolades it pulled, E.T. bagged four Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Sound, and Best Original Score.

3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

  • Release Date: May 24, 1989
  • Running Time: 128 Minutes
  • Budget: $48 Million
  • Box Office: $474.3 Million
  • Starring: Harrison Ford, Denholm Elliott, Alison Doody, John Rhys-Davies, Julian Glover, and Sean Connery

Sean Connery and Harrison Ford in the Last Crusade: Image Source

Steven Spielberg directed the third installment in the Indiana Jones franchise, Last Crusade, and it contributed to the clout he wields as an A-list filmmaker.

The action-adventure film mostly received positive reviews and was one of the highest-grossing films of all time when it was released. Like most of his works, the Last Crusade won multiple awards, including an Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing.

4. Jurassic Park

  • Release Date: June 9, 1993
  • Running Time: 126 Minutes
  • Budget: $63 Million
  • Box Office: $1.033 billion
  • Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, BD Wong, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello, and Ariana Richards

Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern, and Sam Neill in Jurassic Park: Image Source

If there was any doubt about Steven Spielberg’s dexterity as a filmmaker, it was cleared after he directed this science fiction action film. Based on Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel of the same title, the 1993 movie is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise and it was a monster hit. It became the highest-grossing film of all time and held the record until Titanic came along in 1997.

The film dominated the industry, receiving immense positive reviews all over the world. It received three Academy Awards for Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Effects Editing. In addition to the many other gongs it bagged, it was named the 35th most thrilling film of American cinema by the American Film Institue in 2001.

5. The Lost World: Jurassic Park

  • Release Date: May 19, 1997
  • Running Time: 129 Minutes
  • Budget: $73 Millions
  • Box Office: $618.6 Million
  • Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, and Arliss Howard

Steven Spielberg in The Lost World: Image Source

The second installment of the Jurassic Park franchise, The Lost World couldn’t equal the heights its predecessor attained. It was released to mixed reviews as critics found faults with its storyline and character development but hailed the action sequence and visuals.

The mixed reviews didn’t stop it from becoming the second, highest-grossing film of the year, behind Titanic which pulled over $1.8 billion. Based on another novel by Michael Crichton, Spielberg directed the science fiction adventure film which won him the Best Director gong of Rembrandt Awards.

6. Saving Private Ryan

  • Release Date: July 24, 1998
  • Running Time: 169 Minutes
  • Budget: $70 Million
  • Box Office: $482.3 Million
  • Starring: Tom Hanks, Edward Burns, Matt Damon, and Tom Sizemore

Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and Edward Burns in Saving Private Ryan: Image Source

While Steven Spielberg co-produced this blockbuster with Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon, and Gary Levinsohn, he directed the epic war film which would come to define the genre. Held in various quarters as one of the finest movies ever made, Saving Private Ryan has been preserved in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress; this happened in 2014.

The war film largely received positive reviews that saw it become the second, highest-grossing film of 1998 in the world. It pulled eleven nominations for Oscars and bagged five of the gong for Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Director.

7. War of the Worlds

  • Release Date: June 23, 2005
  • Running Time: 116 Minutes
  • Budget: $132 Million
  • Box Office: $603.9 Million
  • Starring: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, and Tim Robbins

Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, and Dakota Fanning in War of the Worlds: Image Source

Widely regarded as an anti-war film, Spielberg directed the science fiction action film which revolves around a dock worker who must protect his kids and reunite them with their mother following an extraterrestrial invasion.

Like most of his works, War of the Worlds received good reviews. It won multiple awards but failed to hold on to any of the three Academy Awards nominations it received, losing all (Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing), to King Kong. 

8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

  • Release Date: May 18, 2008
  • Running Time: 122 Minutes
  • Budget: $185 Million
  • Box Office: $790.7 Million
  • Starring: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, and Shia LaBeouf

Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, and Shia LaBeouf in the Crystal Skull: Image Source

The fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series, this action-adventure film was released to mixed reviews which were mostly positive. While it was praised for its visual effects, music score, costume, and action scenes, it was criticized for its storyline, dialogue, and excessive dependence on computer-generated imagery.

Nonetheless, the criticism didn’t stop the movie from attaining financial success like the previous installments. It pulled over $790 million across the globe, making history as the second, highest-grossing film of 2008. It was only bested by The Dark Knight which pulled over $1 billion.

9. Ready Player One

  • Release Date: March 11, 2018
  • Running Time: 140 Minutes
  • Budget: $175 Million
  • Box Office: $582.9 Million
  • Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance

Ralph Ineson, Susan Lynch, and Tye Sheridan in Ready Player One: Image Source

Beyond being the director of this science fiction action-adventure film based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same title, Steven Spielberg co-produced the blockbuster with Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger, and Dan Farah. It revolves around the death of a creator of a virtual reality called OASIS. Posthumously, he tasks OASIS users to find his Easter Egg. The finder would get to control the world and keep his fortune.

Released to positive reviews, Ready Player One received several nominations including the Academy Awards’ Best Visual Effects. It was one of the highest-grossing films of 2018 which saw the release of multiple blockbusters like Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Incredibles 2, and Aquaman.

Steven Spielberg has produced over 100 feature films that have grossed over $25 billion at the box office. Given that, it is hardly a surprise that his net worth is estimated between $3.7 billion and $6.08 billion as of 2020. Interestingly, Spielberg’s success is not only limited to his career but also encompasses his personal life. He Has been married twice and to Kate Capshaw since 1991.

Steven Spielberg’s Wife is a Retired Actress

  • Full Name: Kathleen Sue Spielberg (nee Nail; professionally known as Kate Capshaw)
  • Date of Birth: November 3, 1953
  • Occupation: Retired Actress
  • Years Active: 1981 – 2002
  • Duration of Marriage with Spielberg: 1991 – Present
  • Ex-Husband: Robert Capshaw (1976 – 1980)

Kate Capshaw
Image Source

It was during the production of Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom that Spielberg met Kate Capshaw. They started dating and on the 12th of October 1991, Steven Spielberg entered into his second marriage with the beautiful actress.

The union has lasted for decades and the duo is still waxing strong together as a couple. Just like the accomplished filmmaker, Kate is also in her second marriage. She got married to Robert Capshaw sometime in 1976 and they divorced in 1980.

Famed as the wife of the popular filmmaker, Kate is a retired actress known for works like Dreamscape, Private Affairs, Love at Large, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, Love Affair, How To Make an American Quilt, The Locust, and The Love Letter.

The Director’s First Wife is Also an Actress

  • Full Name: Amy Davis Irving
  • Date of Birth: September 10, 1953
  • Occupation: Actress
  • Years Active: 1955 – Present
  • Duration of Marriage with Spielberg: 1985 – 1989
  • Duration of Marriage with Bruno Barreto: 1996 – 2005
  • Current Husband: Kenneth Bowser (Since 2007)

Steven Spielberg
Amy Irving: Image Source

From 1976 to 1979, Steven Spielberg dated Amy Irving. Following their breakup in 1979, Amy had a brief affair with her co-star in Honeysuckle Rose, Willie Nelson.

But as fate would have it, the filmmaker and Amy got back together in 1984 and exchanged vows the following year. After staying married for close to four years, the pair dissolved the union.

Following their divorce, the actress was paid the whopping sum of $100 million which is regarded then as the third-highest divorce settlement in history.

The Famous Filmmaker Has Seven Children

Steven Spielberg is the father of seven children and some of his kids are making strides in the business of entertainment. Meet them:

1. Jessica Capshaw

  • Date of Birth: August 9, 1976
  • Occupation: Actress, Activist, and Entrepreneur
  • Years Active: 1997 – Present
  • Biological Parents: Kate Capshaw and Robert Capshaw

Steven is the stepfather of the beautiful actress born to Robert and Kate Capshaw. As an actress, she is most known for playing Arizona Robbins on Grey’s Anatomy and Jamie Stringer in The Practice. She has also starred in The Groomsmen, The Hew of Color City, Valentine, Into the West, Head Case, and many others.

She has been married to Christopher Gavigan since 2004. He is a popular entrepreneur and author; they share at least four kids.

2. Max Samuel Spielberg

  • Date of Birth: June 13, 1985
  • Occupation: Graphic Designer, Actor, Director, Producer, and Cinematographer
  • Years Active: 1987Present
  • Biological Parents: Amy Irving and Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg with his wife and children: image source

Steven is the biological father of Max Samuel Spielberg who was birthed by his first wife in June 1985. Following the footsteps of his parents, he has built a career around the entertainment industry but has a very long way to go if he must equal his father’s attainments.

3. Theo Spielberg

  • Date of Birth: August 21, 1988
  • Occupation: Actor
  • Years Active: 2005Present
  • Biological Parents: Unknown (Adopted by Kate Capshaw and Spielberg)

Kate adopted Theo before her marriage to Steven Spielberg who would later adopt him as well. He has been striving to build a career in entertainment and has been credited for his contributions to projects like Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), and Munich (2005).

4. Sasha Rebecca Spielberg (Buzzy Lee)

  • Date of Birth: May 14, 1990
  • Occupation: Musician and Actress
  • Years Active: 1999Present
  • Biological Parents: Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg

Sasha is an actress and a music artist who goes by the stage name, Buzzy Lee. She is a graduate of Brown University and has made appearances in movies like The Terminal, The Kids Are All Right, Before I Sleep, In a Relationship, The Company Men, and others.

On April 27, 2018, she dropped her solo extended play titled, ‘Facepaint’. Together with her brother Theo, she formed a musical group called Wardell.

5. Sawyer Avery Spielberg

  • Date of Birth: March 10, 1992
  • Occupation: Actor and Director
  • Years Active: 2008Present
  • Biological Parents: Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg
Alyssa Renzi and Sawyer Avery: Image Source

Also building a career in entertainment, Sawyer has been credited in popular projects like The Post (2017), Breathe (2016), and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

6. Mikaela George Spielberg

  • Date of Birth: February 28, 1996
  • Occupation: Sex Worker (Porn Star)
  • Years Active: Undetermined
  • Biological Parents: Unknown (Adopted by Kate Capshaw and Spielberg)

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg and Mikaela George Spielberg: Image Source

Mikaela takes pride in describing herself as a “sexual creature”. For her, being a sex worker is empowering and a lucrative way to honor her body. She claims her parents are quite supportive of her career and her fiancé Chuck Pankow is also okay with it. Sometime in March 2020, she was arrested for domestic violence involving Chuck.

7. Destry Allyn Spielberg

  • Date of Birth: December 1, 1996
  • Occupation: Actress and Director
  • Years Active: 2017 – Present
  • Biological Parents: Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg

Destry is also a part of the entertainment industry. She is known for works like Rosie (2019), Mass Hysteria (2019), and I Know This Much Is True (2020). Sometime in July 2020, it emerged that she is engaged to an actor named Genc Legrand.

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