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Religious Affiliation of the Winners of the
Academy Award for Best Director

Related pages:
Religious Affiliation of the Directors of AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies
Religious Affiliation of the 25 Most Influential Film Directors of All Time

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has awarded an Academy Award for Achievement in Directing (the Oscar for Best Director) annually since 1928. This is the most prestigious award a film director can receive.

Year of
Best Director
Religious Affiliation
of Director
1927-28    Frank Borzage Seventh Heaven (Dramatic Picture) Catholic from Utah
1927-28 Lewis Milestone Two Arabian Knights (Comedy Picture) Jewish
1928-29 Frank Lloyd The Divine Lady  
1929-30 Lewis Milestone All Quiet on the Western Front Jewish
1930-31 Norman Taurog Skippy  
1931-32 Frank Borzage Bad Girl Catholic
1932-33 Frank Lloyd Cavalcade  
1934 Frank Capra It Happened One Night Catholic; Christian Science
1935 John Ford The Informer Catholic
1936 Frank Capra Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Catholic; Christian Science
1937 Leo McCarey The Awful Truth Catholic
1938 Frank Capra You Can't Take It With You Catholic; Christian Science
1939 Victor Fleming Gone With The Wind Christianity
1940 John Ford The Grapes of Wrath Catholic
1941 John Ford How Green Was My Valley Catholic
1942 William Wyler Mrs. Miniver Jewish
1943 Michael Curtiz Casablanca Jewish
1944 Leo McCarey Going My Way Catholic
1945 Billy Wilder The Lost Weekend Jewish
1946 William Wyler The Best Years of Our Lives Jewish
1947 Elia Kazan Gentleman's Agreement Greek Orthodox (lapsed);
1948 John Huston The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Episcopalian (lapsed)
1949 Joseph L. Mankiewicz    A Letter to Three Wives Jewish parents; atheist father
1950 Joseph L. Mankiewicz All About Eve Jewish parents; atheist father
1951 George Stevens A Place in the Sun  
1952 John Ford The Quiet Man Catholic
1953 Fred Zinnemann From Here to Eternity Jewish
1954 Elia Kazan On The Waterfront Greek Orthodox (lapsed);
1955 Delbert Mann Marty  
1956 George Stevens Giant  
1957 David Lean The Bridge On The River Kwai Quaker
1958 Vincente Minnelli Gigi Catholic
1959 William Wyler Ben-Hur Jewish
1960 Billy Wilder The Apartment Jewish
1961 Jerome Robbins
Robert Wise
West Side Story Jewish
1962 David Lean Lawrence of Arabia Quaker
1963 Tony Richardson Tom Jones  
1964 George Cukor My Fair Lady Jewish
1965 Robert Wise The Sound of Music  
1966 Fred Zinnemann A Man for All Seasons Jewish
1967 Mike Nichols The Graduate Jewish
1968 Carol Reed Oliver!  
1969 John Schlesinger Midnight Cowboy Jewish
1970 Franklin Schaffner Patton  
1971 William Friedkin The French Connection Jewish
1972 Bob Fosse Cabaret  
1973 George Roy Hill The Sting  
1974 Francis Ford Coppola The Godfather, Part II Catholic (non-practicing)
1975 Milos Forman One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest Jewish father; Protestant mother
1976 John Avildsen Rocky  
1977 Woody Allen Annie Hall Jewish (raised Orthodox); agnostic
1978 Michael Cimino The Deer Hunter Catholic
1979 Robert Benton Kramer vs. Kramer  
1980 Robert Redford Ordinary People  
1981 Warren Beatty Reds Baptist (lapsed)
1982 Richard Attenborough Gandhi  
1983 James L. Brooks Terms of Endearment Jewish
1984 Milos Forman Amadeus Jewish father; Protestant mother
1985 Sydney Pollack Out of Africa Jewish
1986 Oliver Stone Platoon Jewish father; Catholic mother;
raised Episcopalian;
Tibetan Buddhism (convert)
1987 Bernardo Bertolucci The Last Emperor Catholic (lapsed); Freudian
1988 Barry Levinson Rain Man Jewish
1989 Oliver Stone Born on the Fourth of July Jewish father; Catholic mother;
raised Episcopalian;
Tibetan Buddhism (convert)
1990 Kevin Costner Dances With Wolves Baptist
1991 Jonathan Demme The Silence of the Lambs  
1992 Clint Eastwood Unforgiven raised Protestant; agnostic
1993 Steven Spielberg Schindler's List Judaism
1994 Robert Zemeckis Forrest Gump Jewish
1995 Mel Gibson Braveheart traditionalist Catholic
1996 Anthony Minghella The English Patient  
1997 James Cameron Titanic vaguely Protestant background
1998 Steven Spielberg Saving Private Ryan Judaism
1999 Sam Mendes American Beauty  
2000 Steven Soderbergh Traffic
2001 Ron Howard A Beautiful Mind Protestant (Methodist?)
2002 Roman Polanski The Pianist Jewish Catholic (lapsed)
2003 Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King  
2004 Clint Eastwood Million Dollar Baby raised Protestant; agnostic


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Webpage created 22 June 2005. Last modified 14 May 2007.