Photo of David Lynch David Lynch

Cult director David Lynch was born Jan. 20, 1946, in Missoula, Mont., where his tumultuous early years served as inspiration for his first feature film, Eraserhead (1977) -- which revealed Lynch's experimental style to audiences and critics alike.

Lynch's first mainstream feature, The Elephant Man (1980), earned him a Best Director Oscar nomination. But that triumph was followed with the commercial failure of Dune (1984). He saved his career -- and his reputation -- with Blue Velvet (1986) and Wild at Heart (1990), which won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival. He later turned his attention to the short-lived but highly regarded television series "Twin Peaks."

In 1999, Lynch released the heartwarming drama The Straight Story and returned to the land of the strange with the failed television pilot "Mulholland Dr.," which he reedited as a feature film two years later.

David Lynch in Mulholland Dr.

Mulholland Dr.

2001 R

Blonde Betty Elms (Naomi Watts) has only just arrived in Hollywood to become a movie star when she meets an enigmatic brunette with amnesia (Laura Harring). Meanwhile, as the two set off to solve the second woman's identity, filmmaker Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) runs into ominous trouble while casting his latest project.

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