He is a multi-talented Superstar, a great achiever, multiple award winner and a prominent figure in the American entertainment industry. He is none other than Spike Lee, the son of the famous Jazz musician William James Edward Lee III. Spike Lee is famous for his blockbuster movies including Malcolm X, Inside Man, The Original Kings of Comedy, Do the Right Thing among others. Read on to find out more interesting things about the black American movie star below.
Who is Spike Lee? – Bio & Age
Spike Lee is a renowned American actor, writer, film producer, and director. He has been outstanding both in front of and behind the camera, thus, recording several awards in his name. Some of his awards include two Emmy Awards, two Academy Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a Grand Prix Award. Others are BAFTA Award, Gish Prize, and Honorary Cesar.
Born as Shelton Jackson Lee in Atlanta, Georgia on March 20, 1957, he is the oldest of four children born to Jacqueline Carroll who worked as an Arts Black Literature teacher and Williams James Edward Lee III who is a Jazz musician. When he was a child, Lee developed a keen interest in acting and theatre production. He featured in several theatre displays during his high school.
He was raised in Brooklyn where he graduated from John Dewey High School located in Brooklyn’s Gravesend neighborhood. Soon after his graduation, he enrolled at Morehouse College, a liberal arts all-male college located in Atlanta, Georgia. There he made his first student film titled Last Hustle in Brooklyn and also graduated with a degree in Mass Communication. He further attended New York University’s Tisch School of Arts where he obtained a masters degree in film & television. He also took film courses at Clark Atlanta University.
Spike Lee first started as a professor at Harvard, he taught filmmaking in 1991 and he started teaching graduate film program at the New York University’s Tisch School of Arts in 1993. He was made the Artistic Director of the school in 2002.
He released his first movie titled She’s Gotta Have It in 1986 and the movie became a hit in the box office, grossing over seven million in the United States alone. His next project Do the Right Thing was released in 1989, following the outstanding display, the movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in the same year. The following year, he released a musical drama titled Mo’ Better Blues starring himself alongside Denzel Washington, and Wesley Snipes.
In 1991, Lee released a romantic drama titled Jungle Fever starring stars like Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson, and Anthony Quinn. He followed it up with the biographical drama film titled Malcolm X in 1992. His other movies include Crooklyn (1994), Clockers (1995), Girl 6 (1996), The Originals Kings of Comedy (2000), 25th Hour (2002), She Hate Me (2004), Inside Man (2006), Red Hook Summer (2012), Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014), Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall (2012) and the 2018 movie BlacKkKlansman.
Asides from movies, Spike Lee has also directed several television commercials for notable companies including Air Jordan, Nike, Jaguar, Ben & Jerry’s, Taco Bell, and Converse among others. He is also associated with famous directors including Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg.
What is His Net Worth?
The multi-talented American film prodigy has been successful since the inception of his career. He has amassed a lot of wealth from his acting, producing, and writing career. Spike Lee has a staggering net worth of $40 million. He is one of the richest and most established African-American filmmakers. Lee is also successful in his real estate ventures, his residence located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a 9000 square foot town worth over $19 million. Lee owns a 40 Acres and a Mule film production company currently worth $2 – $4 million. He also has a two-acre estate in Martha’s Vineyard in New York City. His other sources of wealth include television commercials and other business endeavors.
Lee came from an entertainment grounded family. Just like Lee, his three younger siblings trailed the same career path and have made names for themselves in the American entertainment industry. Joie Susannah Lee is an actress, producer, and screenwriter. She has featured in various films directed by Spike Lee including School Daze, She’s Gotta Have It, while David Lee is an American Unit still photographer; and the last, Cinque Lee is an Actor and filmmaker. The three siblings have collaborated with Lee on various projects and have held different positions in his establishment.
In addition to having a successful career, Lee is also successful in his love life. He is happily married to Tonya Lewis Lee who is an American attorney and advocate for women and infant health. Tonya is also a film producer, author, and entrepreneur. She founded her production company called Madstone Company Inc. in 1996. The couple met in 1992 and got married the following year in New York City. Together they have two children – a daughter named Satchel Lee, born in 1994 and a son named Jackson Lee who was born in 1997. Lee and Tonya have always kept their personal life away from the media and this has made their union be more successful. The love between them has been blossoming for over two decades and there is no sign of divorce yet.