Oliver Stone
American film director and screenwriter
Oliver Stone
William Oliver Stone is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Stone came into public attention in the mid-1980s and the early 1990s for writing and directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, in which he had participated as an infantry soldier. He won further attention—and controversy—with the films JFK, Natural Born Killers, and Nixon. Many of Stone's films focus on contemporary American political and cultural issues.
Biography
Oliver Stone's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Oliver Stone from around the web
Come On Baby, Fight My Liar -- Redux
Huffington Post - 14 days
"We have our first new age President. For years, spiritual wannabes have talked about creating their own reality. This guy actually does it." -- Swami Beyondananda In 2010, back when "alternative truth" and "fake news" were known by their proper name -- lies -- I wrote a blog post for OpEd News that got me in trouble with ... the left. I called it "Come On Baby, Fight My Liar" and I compared the lies conservatives tell each other, with those liberals tell themselves. It was back in the days when there actually was such a thing as a fact-checker that both sides at least tacitly paid attention to. What I pointed out was how many of the viral emails sent out by my friends on the right in those days were simply "made up", and how many lies per square minute were told by Fox News. At the same time (you can read the whole article here), having just returned from a Spiritual Progressives conference and recognizing the unwillingness of so many there to face America's war machine tha ...
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Huffington Post article
The Sky Horse Is the Limit - A Galloping Publisher
Huffington Post - about 1 month
There's sky blue; skyline: skyscraper: skyrocket; skylark; Skylab; Luke Skywalker. And then there's Skyhorse. Or, as I call it, the little colt that could. Skyhorse: a young, hot-to-trot company (www.skyhorsepublishing.com) that's just turned 10 -- overturning expectations, turning editorial heads, and turning $0 into $43 million! The maverick Mustang that's been kicking down corporate stalls, publishing a range of topics as wide as the Montana skies, from Putin to Pokemon Go; from fantasy and fashion (Corsets and Codpieces) to Fix-it and Forget-It series; from conspiracies to cookbooks--titles from Malcolm Nance's The Plot to Hack America to Kristy Carlson's Eat Like a Gilmore: The Unofficial Cookbook for Fans of Gilmore Girls. Photo Source (above): www.localriding.com Skyhorse: named after PEN/Hemingway award-winning Hispanic Native American Mexican author Brando Skyhorse. Seriously, now, could you ask for a more romantic derivation ? Photo Source: 'S' bend corset (r ...
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Huffington Post article
Year-End Roundup: In 2016, The World Passed The Tipping Point Into A Perilous New Era
Huffington Post - about 2 months
In the 2015 WorldPost Year-End Roundup, we observed that we were then “on the cusp of a tipping point” in the race between a world coming together and one falling apart. In 2016, we have indeed tipped over into a new era. The profound upheavals of this year were anticipated in an essay we published in March titled “Why the World Is Falling Apart.” In that piece I wrote, “The fearful and fearsome reaction against growing inequality, social dislocation and loss of identity in the midst of vast wealth creation, unprecedented mobility and ubiquitous connectivity, is a mutiny, really, against globalization so audacious and technological change so rapid that it can barely be absorbed by our incremental nature. In this accelerated era,” I continued, “future shock can feel like repeated blows in the living present to individuals, families and communities alike.” Revolt Against Global Elites  Economics and technology forged the worldwide converge ...
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Huffington Post article
Oliver Stone to receive Writers Guild of America, West 2017 Laurel Award
LATimes - 2 months
The Writers Guild of America, West announced Thursday that Oliver Stone will receive the 2017 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement as part of the guild’s award show Feb. 19. Known as a politically minded provocateur, Stone’s work as writer and director includes “Snowden,” released earlier...
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LATimes article
Shakespeare meets Oliver Stone in 'The Tragedy of JFK'
LATimes - 4 months
Friends, readers, theatergoers, lend me your eyes; I come to praise “The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm Shakespeare)” at the Skylight Theatre, not to bury it. Daniel Henning’s adaptation of “Julius Caesar” is an audacious new production from the Blank Theatre Company, one that inventively maps Shakespeare’s...
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LATimes article
Unni Turrettini: Profile of an Author
Huffington Post - 5 months
It's hard to know where Norwegian author Unni Turrettini's life will take her next. Her book, "The Mystery of the Lone Wolf Killer: Anders Behring Breivik and the Threat of Terror in Plain Sight (Pegasus Books, November 16, 2015) about the tragedy of the 2011 Norway attacks, is receiving excellent reviews. In September, she came to Boston and gave a talk about her work at the prestigious Chilton Club. This November 5th, she'll be presenting a TEDx event at Institute Le Rosey, Switzerland. Currently her latest work, a comprehensive analysis of the Nobel Peace Prize, is being represented by Linda Langton of Langtons International Agency, and under consideration with publishers. We managed to catch up with Unni through Skype, on an early afternoon just outside Oslo, Norway, before her two children returned from school, to talk about her life, her writing, and her worldview. Unni Turrettini was born and raised in Norway, the daughter of adventurous parents who moved frequently ...
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Huffington Post article
Snowden And His Would-Be Imitators
Huffington Post - 5 months
As a former officer of the CIA - my last overseas assignment being Chief of Station - I feel compelled to comment on the article "Pardon Snowden", which appeared on September 15 on the op-ed page of The New York Times. Written by Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, and Scott Shetty, the secretary general of Amnesty International, the article contains at least one key omission: Edward J. Snowden was not only a National Security Agency contractor, as stated by the authors, but was also formerly a CIA staff employee. As such, he was obliged to sign a secrecy agreement not to disclose classified information. It lasts a lifetime, and we all have to abide by it whenever we are dealing with classified data. Apart from the issue of the harm done to national security by this case, it is important to point out the unintended consequences of giving Snowden a pardon. Present and past CIA employees could regard such an action as a softening of standards and as an invi ...
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Huffington Post article
The Conflicting Narratives About Edward Snowden
NPR - 5 months
Edward Snowden is having a big week, as the subject of both a laudatory new Oliver Stone biopic and a scathing report from the House Intelligence Committee. We examine the competing narratives.
Article Link:
NPR article
"Snowden": Love, Life and Privacy in the Time of Surveillance
Huffington Post - 5 months
Oliver Stone's excellent new film "Snowden" is a primer on life in the digital age - the perils to privacy, professionalism and the personal. Through an extended series of flashbacks in the life of whistleblower Edward Snowden, Stone shows us the impacts of global surveillance on relationships from international to interpersonal. Stone's dramatization builds around and out from Laura Poitras Academy Award winning documentary "Citizen Four." We meet Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in the prison like confines of his Hong Kong hotel room, a refugee of conscience, blowing the whistle on his U.S. spy agency employers. Through a series of flashbacks, Snowden emerges a brilliant, geeky, well considered patriot from a military family. He is moved by the events of 9/11 to volunteer for Special Forces training. After breaking both legs, Snowden is forced off the active front lines into intelligence service. He eagerly joins CIA global communications at their headquarters in ...
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Huffington Post article
'Snowden' Review: A Complex Life Turned to Stone
Wall Street Journal - 5 months
Oliver Stone’s biopic about the NSA contractor turned secrets-spiller is a fragmented vision of Edward Snowden’s journey.
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Oliver Stone
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 69
    In September 2016, Stone said he was voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein for President.
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    He said that Paul is "the only one of anybody who's saying anything intelligent about the future of the world." then later: "I supported Ron Paul in the Republican primary... but his domestic policy... made no sense!" In March 2016, Stone wrote on the Huffington Post his support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic nomination.
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  • 2015
    Age 68
    In 2015, he was presented with an honorific award at the Sitges Film Festival.
    More Details Hide Details Stone's next film is Snowden. Based on the life of Edward Snowden, the film sees Stone returning to his controversial roots. Snowden ended filming in May 2015 and is to be released on September 16, 2016. Stone made three documentaries on Fidel Castro: Comandante (2003), Looking for Fidel, and Castro in Winter (2012). He made Persona Non Grata, a documentary on Israeli-Palestinian relations, interviewing several notable figures of Israel, including Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Shimon Peres, as well as Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
  • 2014
    Age 67
    In December 2014, Stone made statements supporting the Russian government's narrative on Ukraine, portraying the 2014 Ukrainian revolution as a CIA plot and former Ukrainian president (who was ousted as a result of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution) Viktor Yanukovych, whose responsibility for the killing of protesters is claimed by the new Ukrainian government, as a legitimate president forced to leave Ukraine by "well-armed, neo-Nazi radicals."
    More Details Hide Details The University of Toronto's Stephen Velychenko, the author of several books on Ukrainian history, and James Kirchick of The Daily Beast criticized Stone's comments and plans for a film.
    At the end of 2014 according to a Facebook post Stone said he had been in Moscow to interview (former Ukrainian president) Viktor Yanukovych, for a "new English language documentary produced by Ukrainians".
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    On March 5, 2014, Stone and teleSUR premiered the documentary film Mi Amigo Hugo (My Friend Hugo), a documentary about Venezuela's late President, Hugo Chávez, one year after his death.
    More Details Hide Details The film is also a "spiritual answer" and a tribute from Stone to Chávez.
    In 2014, Stone announced that his Martin Luther King project, which he had worked on for three years, was aborted by the producing studios, Warner Bros and DreamWorks, following the objection of King's estate to his screenplay, which deals with King's adultery.
    More Details Hide Details Later Stone commented in a BBC interview: "These are not rumours; these are facts and Hoover had the tapes."
  • 2013
    Age 66
    In June 2013, Stone and numerous other celebrities appeared in a video showing support for Chelsea Manning.
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    Stone visited Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in April 2013 and commented, "I don't think most people in the US realize how important WikiLeaks is and why Julian's case needs support."
    More Details Hide Details He also criticized two upcoming WikiLeaks films from Alex Gibney and Bill Condon.
  • 2012
    Age 65
    In August 2012, he penned a New York Times op-ed with filmmaker Michael Moore on the importance of WikiLeaks and free speech.
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    Oliver Stone is a vocal supporter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Stone signed a petition in support of Assange's bid for political asylum in June 2012.
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    In 2012, Stone endorsed Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President.
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  • 2010
    Age 63
    In an interview with The Times newspaper on July 25, 2010, Stone claimed that America does not know "the full story" on Iran and complained about Jewish "domination" in parts of the U.S. media and foreign policy, notably his view that Adolf Hitler was misunderstood due to Jewish control of the media.
    More Details Hide Details When Stone was asked why so much of an emphasis has been placed on the Holocaust, as opposed to the 20-plus million casualties the Soviet Union, for example, suffered in World War II, he stated that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was an overly powerful Jewish lobby within the U.S. The remarks were heavily criticized by Jewish groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, from which Yuri Eidelstein described Stone's remarks as what "could be a sequel to the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and the American Jewish Committee, as well as from Israel's Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister. A day later, Stone stated: "In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry. The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity—and it was an atrocity."
  • 2009
    Age 62
    In 2009, Stone completed a feature-length documentary, South of the Border about the rise of progressive, leftist governments in Latin America, featuring seven presidents: Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Bolivia's Evo Morales, Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Cuba's Raúl Castro, the Kirchners of Argentina, Brazil's Lula da Silva, and Paraguay's Fernando Lugo (all of whom hold negative views of US manipulations in South America).
    More Details Hide Details Stone hoped the film would get the Western world to rethink socialist policies in South America, particularly as it was being applied by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. Chávez joined Stone for the premiere of the documentary at the Venice International Film Festival in September 2009. Stone defended his decision not to interview Chávez's opponents, stating that oppositional statements and TV clips were scattered through the documentary and that the documentary was an attempt to right a balance of heavily negative coverage. He praised Chávez as a leader of a movement for social transformation in Latin America (the Bolivarian Revolution), along with the six other Presidents in the film. The documentary was also released in several cities in the United States and Europe in the summer of 2010. In 2012, the documentary miniseries Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States premiered on Showtime, Stone co-wrote, directed, produced, and narrated the series, having worked on it since 2008 with co-writers American University historian Peter J. Kuznick and British screenwriter Matt Graham. The 10-part series is supplemented by a 750-page companion book of the same name, also written by Stone and Kuznick, released on October 30, 2012 by Simon & Schuster. Stone described the project as "the most ambitious thing I've ever done. Certainly in documentary form, and perhaps in fiction, feature form." The project received positive reviews from former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, and reviewers from IndieWire, San Francisco Chronicle, and Newsday.
  • 2008
    Age 61
    According to Newsmeat and Entertainment Weekly respectively, Stone voted for Barack Obama as U.S. president in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, instead of John McCain and Mitt Romney, the GOP candidates for the presidency.
    More Details Hide Details Stone was quoted as saying at the time: "I voted for Obama because I think he's an intelligent individual I think he responds to difficulties well very bright guy far better choice yes."
  • FIFTIES
  • 2005
    Age 58
    In August 2005, Stone pleaded no contest and was fined $100.
    More Details Hide Details Stone has had an interest in Latin America since the 1980s when he made his 1986 film Salvador and later returned to make his documentary South of the Border about the left-leaning movements that had been taking hold in the region. He has expressed the view that these movements are a positive step toward political and economic autonomy for the region.
    He was arrested again on the night of May 27, 2005 in Los Angeles for possession of an undisclosed illegal drug.
    More Details Hide Details He was released the next day on a $15,000 bond.
  • 2003
    Age 56
    Shortly after the strike, Stone went on to write and direct the George W. Bush biopic W., that chronicles the controversial President's childhood, relationship with his father, struggles with his alcoholism, rediscovery of his Christian faith, and continues the rest of his life up until the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
    More Details Hide Details In 2010, Stone returned to the theme of Wall Street for the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. In 2012, Stone directed Savages, based on a novel by Don Winslow.
  • 1999
    Age 52
    In 1999, Stone was arrested and pleaded guilty to alcohol and drug charges.
    More Details Hide Details He was ordered into a rehabilitation program.
  • 1997
    Age 50
    In 1997, Stone was one of 34 celebrities to sign an open letter to then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, published as a newspaper advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, which protested against the treatment of Scientologists in Germany and compared it to the Nazis' oppression of Jews in the 1930s.
    More Details Hide Details In 2003, Stone was a signatory of the third Humanist Manifesto.
    In 1997, Stone published A Child's Night Dream (St. Martin's Press), a semiautobiographical novel first written in 1966–1967.
    More Details Hide Details On September 15, 2008, Stone was named the Artistic Director of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Asia in Singapore.
    Stone followed Nixon with the 1997 road movie/film noir, U Turn, and 1999's Any Given Sunday, a film about power struggles within and without an American football team.
    More Details Hide Details After a period from 1986–1999 where Stone released a new film at least every 1–2 years, Stone slowed down in the 2000s, though still finding some success. In 2004, Stone directed the critically savaged Alexander. He later radically re-edited his biopic of Alexander the Great into a two-part, 3 hour 37 minute film Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut, which became one of the highest-selling catalog items from Warner Bros. After Alexander, Stone went on to direct World Trade Center, based on the true story of two PAPD policemen who were trapped in the rubble and survived the September 11 attacks. In 2007, Stone was intended to direct his fourth Vietnam War film Pinkville, about a Pentagon investigation into the My Lai Massacre of Vietnamese civilians. The film was to have been made for United Artists, but the company officially cancelled the production start due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
  • FORTIES
  • 1995
    Age 48
    Stone went on to direct the 1995 Richard Nixon biopic Nixon, which was nominated for Oscars for script and Anthony Hopkins' portrait of the title role.
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  • 1994
    Age 47
    You better not go get popcorn. 1994 saw the release of Stone's satire of the modern media, Natural Born Killers.
    More Details Hide Details Originally based on a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, critics recognized its portrayal of violence and the intended satire on the media. Before it was released, the MPAA gave the film a NC-17 rating; this caused Stone to cut four minutes of film footage in order to obtain an R rating (he eventually released the unrated version on VHS and DVD in 2001).
  • 1991
    Age 44
    In 1991, Stone showed JFK to Congress on Capitol Hill, which helped lead to passage of the Assassination Materials Disclosure Act of 1992.
    More Details Hide Details The Assassination Records Review Board (created by Congress to lessen, but not end the secrecy surrounding Kennedy's assassination) discussed the film, including Stone's observation at the end of the film, about the dangers inherent in government secrecy. Stone published an annotated version of the screenplay, in which he cites references for his claims, shortly after the film's release. I make my films like you're going to die if you miss the next minute.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1986
    Age 39
    In 1986, Stone directed two films back to back: the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful Salvador, shot largely in Mexico, and his long in development Vietnam project Platoon, shot in the Philippines.
    More Details Hide Details Stone loosely based Scarface on his own addiction to cocaine, which he successfully kicked while writing the screenplay. Platoon brought Stone's name to a much wider audience. It also finally kickstarted a busy directing career, which saw him making nine films over the next decade. Alongside some negative reaction, Platoon won many rave reviews (Roger Ebert later called it the ninth best film of the 1980s), large audiences, and Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. In 2007, a film industry vote ranked it at number 83 in an American Film Institute "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies" poll of the previous century's best American movies. British TV channel Channel 4 voted Platoon as the sixth greatest war film ever made. Platoon was the first of three films Stone has made about the Vietnam War: the others were Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth, each dealing with different aspects of the war. Platoon is a semi-autobiographical film about Stone's experience in combat; Born on the Fourth of July is based on the autobiography of US Marine turned peace campaigner Ron Kovic; Heaven & Earth is based on the memoir When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, in which Le Ly Hayslip recalls her life as a Vietnamese village girl drastically affected by the war and who finds another life in the USA.
    Stone wrote further features, including Brian De Palma's drug lord tale Scarface and Year of the Dragon with Mickey Rourke, before his career took off as a writer-director in 1986.
    More Details Hide Details Like his contemporary Michael Mann, Stone is unique in having written or co-written most of the films he has directed.
  • 1981
    Age 34
    He then married Elizabeth Burkit Cox, an assistant in film production, on June 7, 1981. They had two sons, Sean Stone/Ali (b. 1984) and Michael Jack (b. 1991). Sean appeared in some of his father's films while a child. Oliver and Elizabeth divorced in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details Stone is currently married to Sun-jung Jung, and the couple have a daughter, Tara (b. 1995). Stone is mentioned in Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief as having been a member of Scientology for about a month, saying "It was like going to college and reading Dale Carnegie, something you do to find yourself."
  • 1979
    Age 32
    In 1979, Stone won his first Academy Award, after adapting true-life prison story Midnight Express into a hit film for British director Alan Parker (the two would later collaborate on a 1996 movie of stage musical Evita).
    More Details Hide Details Stone's screenplay for Midnight Express was criticized by some for its inaccuracies in portraying the events described in the book and vilifying the Turkish people. The original author, Billy Hayes, around whom the film is set, spoke out against the film, protesting that he had many Turkish friends while in jail. Stone later apologized to Turkey for over-dramatizing the script, while not repudiating the film's stark brutality or the reality of Turkish prisons.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1971
    Age 24
    Stone has been married three times, first to Najwa Sarkis on May 22, 1971. They divorced in 1977.
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    Stone graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film in 1971, where his teachers included director Martin Scorsese (the same year, he had a small acting role in comedy The Battle of Love's Return).
    More Details Hide Details Stone made a short, well received 12-minute film Last Year in Viet Nam. He worked as a taxi driver, film production assistant, messenger, and salesman before making his mark in film as a screenwriter in the late '70s, in the period between his first two films as a director: horror films Seizure and The Hand.
  • 1968
    Age 21
    He was then transferred to the First Cavalry Division participating in long range patrols before being transferred again to drive for a motorized infantry unit of the division until November 1968.
    More Details Hide Details For his service, his military awards include the Bronze Star with "V" Device for heroism, the Purple Heart with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to denote two awards, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
  • 1967
    Age 20
    From September 16, 1967 to April 1968, he served in Vietnam with 2nd Platoon, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Infantry Division and was twice wounded in action.
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    In April 1967, Stone enlisted in the United States Army and requested combat duty in Vietnam.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1966
    Age 19
    Afterwards, he worked as a wiper on a United States Merchant Marine ship in 1966, traveling to Oregon.
    More Details Hide Details He returned to Yale, where he dropped out a second time (in part due to working on an autobiographical novel A Child's Night Dream, published 1997 by St. Martin's Press).
  • 1965
    Age 18
    Stone was admitted into Yale University, but left in June 1965 at age 18 to teach high school students English for six months in Saigon at the Free Pacific Institute in South Vietnam.
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  • 1964
    Age 17
    Stone graduated from The Hill School in 1964.
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  • 1963
    Age 16
    During this same period, Stone directed one of his most ambitious, controversial and successful films to date JFK, that depicts the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1946
    Born
    Born on September 15, 1946.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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