Ridley Scott is a notable English director who works in Hollywood and is known for films like Alien (1979), Gladiator (2000)
and The Martian
(2015). He has been nominated thrice for Academy Award for Best Director, till 2016.
Scott was born in 1937 in South Shields, England, to Elizabeth and Col. Francis Percy Scott. He had two brothers - Frank and Tony Scott. His older brother Frank joined the armed forces like their father but died of skin cancer in 1980.His younger Tony Scott
was a film director and was his business partner in their company Scott Free. Tony Scott committed suicide in 2012, after a long struggle with cancer.
Ridley Scott went to the Royal College of Art where he pursued a film career. He played a part in the establishment of the film department there. The short film Boy and Bicycle was his final project in college and it starred his father and brother Tony Scott. After college, Scott went on to work as a trainee on the sets of BBC and was part of a number of popular TV series of that time.
Ridley Scott has been married thrice - first to Felicity Heywood from 1964 to 1975. The couple had two sons, Jake and Luke, both of whom work as directors with Scott`s production company, Ridley Scott Associates. He then married advertising executive Sandy Watson in 1979, with whom he has a daughter Jordan Scott, but the couple got divorced in 1989. Scott has since been in a relationship with actress Giannina Facio, whom he also casts in a lot of his films. The director has publicly stated that he is an atheist.
Scott made his debut as a director with the film The Duellists (1977) that starred Harvey Keitel
and Keith Carradine
in the lead role. The historical drama based on the short story `The Duel` by Joseph Conrad won Scott the Best Debut Film Award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. He then directed the British-American science fiction-horror film Alien (1979) with Sigourney Weaver in the lead role, which received critical as well as box office success, and spawned a series of films with the same title. His next venture, Blade Runner (1982) with Harrison Ford
in the lead, though a commercial failure, later came to be regarded as a classic. After a dry run in the late 80s, Scott was back to form with the female buddy film Thelma and Louise (1991). The film revolves around two women - a housewife and a waitress who set out on a fishing trip but end up killing a man who tries to rape one of them. Being one of his biggest critical successes, the film also won him a nomination as a Best Director at the Academy Awards.
Scott couldn`t find much success with his later films in the 90s, but struck gold with the movie Gladiator
(2000) starring Russell Crowe
in the lead. The film was a blockbuster and also won five Academy Awards, including for Best Picture and Best Actor. It also got Scott another Best Director nomination for his efforts. The director continued his associated with Crowe to work on four other films with him. Black Hawk Down in 2001, a film about the Battle of Mogadishu, starring Josh Hartnett
and Ewan McGregor
among others, also won the director a nomination as a Best Director. His crime thriller Hannibal that released in the same year, saw Anthony Hopkins
return to his role as the iconic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, and was a massive commercial success. It was a sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence of the Lambs.
After a dry patch again, the director regained form with American Gangster
(2007) which was loved by the masses as well as the critics. The movie revolves around a respected member of the social elite, who in reality is a successful drug lord, and how detective Roberts tackles him. In the next year came the espionage thriller Body of Lies, starring Leonardo DiCaprio
and Russell Crowe
that received mixed reviews, followed by an action-adventure film Robin Hood
(2010), that featured Russell Crowe as Robin Hood and Cate Blanchett
as Maid Marian. His next big success, the sci-fi film Promotheus
in 2012, a part of the Alien film series, starred Noomi Rapace
, Michael Fassbender
and Charlize Theron
, was a commercial success and garnered mostly positive reviews. He then directed The Martian
(2015), a big budget sci-fi movie that revolves around Mark Watney who is stranded on the planet of Mars as his crew assume that he is dead due to a storm. This film too was declared a blockbuster and won a lot of critical acclaim as well, apart from earning Scott a Golden Globe for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy and a nomination at the Academy Awards for Best Picture.
His 2017 release includes the science-fiction horror film Alien: Covenant, a sequel to the 2012 film Prometheus
and sixth installment overall in the Alien film series. His other projects include Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Murder on the Orient Express (2017), The Aftermath (2019), Earthquake Bird (2019) and Death on the Nile (2021).
Scott started a production company of his own Ridley Scott Associates, along with his brother Tony and other directors like Alan Parker and Hugh Hudson
, which gained popularity for their commercial films.
Ridley Scott founded Scott Free Productions, a British film and television production company, along with director-brother Tony Scott
, which works with Ridley Scott`s larger company RSA Films by assisting directors in film and television. Scott Free has produced films like Gladiator
(2000), Cracks (2009) and more.