US screenwriter, director, and actor, whose films are known for their explicit violence and idiosyncratic dialogue.
Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, to a sixteen-year-old half-Irish, half-Cherokee mother and an Italian father whom he never saw. He claims to have been entirely self-educated through films, television, and videos. Attempts to become an actor, including a spell as an Elvis Presley impersonator, proved unfruitful and he began writing screenplays while working at a video store, attempting to sell his scripts to established directors. Tarantino's Romeo-and-Juliet road movie True Romance was finally made in 1993 by Tony Scott. Oliver Stone's version of his Natural Born Killers was screened the same year but disowned by Tarantino. The first film directed by Tarantino was the stylish but extremely violent Reservoir Dogs (1992), which was backed to the extent of $1,500,000 by the actor Harvey Keitel. Pulp Fiction (1994), with even more violence and some humour, won the Palme d'Or at Cannes as well as the Oscar for best original screenplay. He subsequently acted in Dusk til Dawn (1996), a tale of vampires based on another of his early screenplays, and directed the highly praised Jackie Brown (1998), which starred Pam Crier with a supporting role for Robert De Niro. Tarantino has also directed the episodes of the cult TV medical series ER and made cameo appearances on television.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).