Harvey Weinstein was born on March 19, 1952, in Flushing, Queens, New York. By the mid '70s, he and younger brother Bob had acquired a run-down theater in Buffalo, where they presented rock bands as well as bizarre B-movies. The venture proved profitable enough for the Weinstein brothers to further indulge their passion for cinema, as they co-founded their own independent movie distribution and production compan
y, Miramax Films, in 1979.
In 1988, Harvey Weinstein and Miramax landed their first major success with the release of The Thin Blue Line, a documentary that recounts the true story of a wrongfully convicted death row inmate. Publicity from the film helped win convict Randall Adams his release, and put Miramax on the map. By 1989, Harvey Weinstein's company had emerged as the most profitable independent studio in the U.S. thanks to releases such asPedro Almodovar's Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Oscar winners My Left Foot and Pelle the Conqueror, and Steven Sod
erbergh's sex, lies, and videotape.
With an executive producer credit on films such as Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991) and The Crying Game (1992), Harvey Weinstein's stock in Hollywood was on the rise during the early 1990s. In 1993, he and his brother agreed to an offer of $70 million from the Walt Disney Company for ownership of their studio. The Weinsteins would continue to head Miramax for another dozen years, as their company's successes continued with releases such as Clerks, Il Postino, and Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, the studio's first bona fide blockbuster.
In 1999, Harvey Weinstein won an Oscar as coproducer ofShakespeare in Love, and he collected an additional Academy Awardand Golden Globe for the musical Chicago in 2003. In 2005, the Weinstein brothers left Miramax to form The Weinstein Company, which has released Oscar-nominated pictures such as Transamerica,Mrs. Henderson Presents and 2008's The Reader. Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Brad Pitt and Melanie Laurent, made its debut at Cannes in May 2009. The World War II-set drama, executive produced by Harvey Weinstein, is set for an August 2009 release date in the U.S. Nine, directed by Rob Marshall,starring Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard and Daniel Day Lewis is set for december 2009 release date un the US.