|Birth Day:||February 14, 1944|
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He worked as a copywriter for an ad agency.
With Mississippi Burning (1988), Parker received his second Oscar nomination for Best Director. The film is based on a true story about the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and stars Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe. Hackman was nominated for Best Actor, while the film was nominated for five other Oscars, including Best Picture. It won for Best Cinematography.
By 1968, Parker had moved from copywriting to successfully directing numerous television advertisements. In 1970, he joined Alan Marshall to establish a company to make advertisements. That company eventually became one of Britain's best commercial production houses, winning nearly every major national and international award open to it. Among their award-winning adverts were the UK Cinzano vermouth advertisement (starring Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter), and a Heineken advert which used one hundred actors. Parker credited his years writing and directing adverts for his later success as a film director:
After writing the screenplay for the Waris Hussein film Melody in 1971, Parker shot his first fictional film titled No Hard Feelings in 1973, for which he wrote the script. The film is a bleak love story set against the Blitz in London during the Second World War, when the Luftwaffe bombed the city for 57 consecutive nights. Parker was born during one of those bombing raids, and said "the baby in that [film] could well have been me". With no feature film directing experience, he could not find financial backing, and decided to risk using his own money and funds from mortgaging his house to cover the cost. The film impressed the BBC, which bought the film and showed it on television a few years later, in 1976. The BBC producer Mark Shivas had, in the interim, also contracted Parker to direct The Evacuees (1975), a Second World War story written by Jack Rosenthal which was shown as a Play for Today. The work was based on true events which involved the evacuation of school children from central Manchester for protection. The Evacuees won a BAFTA for best TV drama and also an Emmy for best International Drama.
Also in 1982 the Parker directed, Roger Waters written and with graphics by the cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, film version of the Pink Floyd conceptual rock opera, "Pink Floyd - The Wall" starring Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof as the fictive rocker "Pink" was released.
Parker was nominated for eight BAFTA awards, three Golden Globes and two Oscars. He was a founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain and lectured at film schools around the world. In 1985, the British Academy awarded him the Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema. Parker was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1995 Birthday Honours and Knight Bachelor in the 2002 New Year Honours for services to the film industry. In 1999 he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Directors Guild of Great Britain. He became chairman of the Board of Governors of the British Film Institute (BFI) in 1998 and in 1999 was appointed the first chairman of the newly formed UK Film Council.
In 1991 Parker directed The Commitments, a comedy about working class Dubliners who form a soul band. The film was an international success and led to a successful sound track album. To find a cast Parker visited most of the estimated 1,200 different bands then playing throughout Dublin. He met with over 3,000 different band members. Rather than pick known actors, Parker says he chose young musicians, most of whom had no acting experience, in order to remain "truthful to the story". "I cast everybody to be very close to the character that they play in the film. They're not really playing outside of who they are as people." Parker says he wanted to make the film because he could relate to the hardships in the lives of young Dubliners, having come from a similar working-class background in north London.
Parker was married twice; first to Annie Inglis from 1966 until their divorce in 1992, and then to producer Lisa Moran, to whom he was married until his death. He had five children, including screenwriter Nathan Parker.
In 2005 Parker received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Sunderland of which his long-time associate Lord Puttnam is chancellor. In 2004 he was the Chairman of the Jury at the 26th Moscow International Film Festival. In 2013 he was awarded the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award "in recognition of outstanding achievement in the art forms of the moving image", which is the highest honour the British Academy can bestow.
Parker died in London on 31 July 2020 at age 76, following a lengthy illness.
Alan married Annie Inglis in 1966 and later married Lisa Moran in the 1990s. Alan had two sons named Jake and Alexander Parker.
Currently, Alan Parker is 78 years, 7 months and 12 days old. Alan Parker will celebrate 79th birthday on a Tuesday 14th of February 2023. Below we countdown to Alan Parker upcoming birthday.
Meg Tilly (60) Allie Grant (26) Shane Harper (27) Freddie Highmore (28) Brett Dier (30) Jake Weary (30) Tiffany Thornton (34) Havana Brown (35) Matt Barr (36) Tati Westbrook (38) Erin Torpey (39) Danai Gurira (42) Rie Rasmussen (44) Big Smo (44) Rob Thomas (48) Pic: Columbia Picture