june-26.jpgWriter-director Paul Thomas Anderson was born on this day in Studio City, California in 1970. He briefly attended Emerson College and NYU, but both stints were short-lived. Instead of a traditional education, Anderson chose the school of real life–working as a production assistant on TV movies, videos and game shows. Anderson’s first film, Cigarettes & Coffee, was a hit at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival. Anderson is best known for his large casts and complex independent film inspirations with interweaving storylines. His breakout film, Boogie Nights (1997), was critically acclaimed as the best film of the year by many film critics and one of the finest examinations of the porn industry. Later, his ensemble piece Magnolia (1999) received three Academy Award nominations, including Best Original Screenplay. In 2002 Anderson wrote and directed Punch-Drunk Love, starring Adam Sandler in his first serious role. His newest film, There Will Be Blood, an adaptation of the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, is scheduled for release this fall.

Factoid: Boogie Nights was based on a 30-minute mockumentary which Anderson produced in high school. It was inspired by an article he had read on porn star John Holmes.