Speaker Profile – Cameron Crowe

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CAMERON CROWE (Writer/Director/Producer) was born on July 13, 1957 in Palm Springs, California. He was raised in San Diego by his father, James, a residential real estate agent and mother, Alice, who taught sociology and English literature at the local college. Recognizing that Crowe was gifted at a very young age, his mother pushed him to excel. He skipped kindergarten and two grades in elementary school, and by the time he attended the University of San Diego High School, he was quite obviously younger than the other students.

Crowe began writing for the school newspaper, and by age 13 was contributing music reviews for an underground publication called the San Diego Door. He then began corresponding with legendary rock & roll critic, Lester Bangs, who had left the Door to become editor at the national rock magazine Creem, and soon Crowe was also submitting articles to Creem, Penthouse, Playboy, Crawdaddy, Music World, Circus and the Los Angeles Times.

After graduating from high school in 1972 at age 15, Crowe joined the staff of Rolling Stone as a Contributing Editor and later went on to become an Associate Editor for the magazine. During that time, he profiled such influential music-world figures as Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and the members of Led Zeppelin. He still serves as a contributing editor to the magazine.

In 1979, Crowe (then 22) went undercover as a southern California high-schooler to research his book on teen life. Fast Times at Ridgemont High became a bestseller and Universal Pictures tapped Crowe to write the screenplay. Released in the spring of ’82 and directed by Amy Heckerling, Fast Times at Ridgemont High became one of the year’s biggest hits and launched the careers of such stars as Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Forest Whitaker, Nicolas Cage and Eric Stoltz. The Writers Guild of America awarded Crowe with a nomination for Best Screen Adaptation, and the film became an instant cult classic.

Crowe’s project, Jerry Maguire starring Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr., was released in 1996 to enormous box office success and critical acclaim. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture, and Cuba Gooding Jr. took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Cameron also received a nomination from the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film.

Almost Famous, released in September 2000, was the culmination of a ten-year journey to put Cameron’s experiences working for Rolling Stone on film. It was cited on over 150 critic’s Top 10 List’s for 2000 and received six Golden Globe and four Academy Award nominations.  The film received two Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical and Best Supporting Actress (Kate Hudson), and Cameron received his first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Since, Crowe has release films such as  The Union, Pearl Jam Twenty, We Bough A Zoo, and Aloha.

Cameron recently wrapped production as Creator/Writer/Director/Executive Producer on his first television series for Showtime, a modern-day ensemble piece that chronicles life on the road with the family behind a rock band entitled Roadies, starring Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino, Imogen Poots, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Rafe Spall.  Roadies aired in the summer of 2016.