On July 13, 1957, Oscar-winning screenwriter/director and wunderkind Cameron Crowe was born in Palm Springs, California. The son of a real estate and phone service businessman dad, and teacher, activist and “all-around live wire” mother, Cameron went on to graduate from San Diego High School at age 15. He became the youngest writer ever to contribute to Rolling Stone magazine, interviewing rock stars, bands and road crews while covering concert tours coast-to-coast. Cameron went on to become a contributing editor and then associate editor of the magazine, before switching to writing and directing movies for Hollywood.
Crowe’s string of successful films – Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky, and Elizabethtown – followed his inital hit, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. After posing as high school student at Clairemont High School in San Diego ( at age 22, and “recapturing his lost senior year”), Cameron wrote a book titled, Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story. The movie version premiered a year later and became a surprise hit, launching the careers of previously little-known actors Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eric Stoltz, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Anthony Edwards, and Oscar winners Nicholas Cage (appearing under his given name of Nicholas Coppola), Forest Whitaker, and Sean Penn.
In celebration of Crowe’s birthday, let’s follow the lead of Ridgemont’s reigning stoner-surfer dude, Jeff Spicoli, and order a pizza. We can “learn about Cuba, and have some food.”
Image Credit: Tony Lowe/PR Photos; Universal Pictures