Facts about Alan Parker
Alan Parker Biography
British filmmaker Alan Parker made most of his movies with American studios and actors, including Midnight Express (1977) and Mississippi is Burning (1988), both of which brought him Oscar nominations as best director.
Parker started in the advertising business as a teenager, moved up to copywriter and then executive, and by the early 1970s was making top-tier TV commercials. For the BBC he made a documentary film in 1974.
His first feature film was Bugsy Malone (1976), a gangster musical with children (the entire cast) — including young Jodie Foster, who had just hit the screens in Taxi Driver.
It was a surprising success, and Parker’s next film was the suspenseful and controversial drama, Midnight Express (1971), which earned six Oscar nominations and put Parker in place as a major director.
Known for making a variety of films, his best remembered movies include the music-oriented films Fame (1980), Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982), The Commitments (1991) and Evita (1996, starring Madonna); the sobering dramas Shoot the Moon (1982), Mississippi is Burning (1988, with Frances McDormand) and Angela’s Ashes (1999); the contemplative anti-war film Birdy (1984); and the stylish horror film Angel Heart (1987, starring Mickey Rourke).
Parker was also a cartoonist who published the books Hares at the Gate (1982), Making Movies (1998) and Will Write and Direct for Food (2005).
He also published the novels Bugsy Malone (1977), Puddles in the Lane (1977) and The Sucker’s Kiss (2003).
Parker was knighted in 2002.