Photo of Michael Mann Michael Mann

Getting his start as a director of TV commercials in the mid-1960s, Michael Mann brought his rapid-paced, fragmented-image technique to series TV when he began writing for dramas such as "Starsky and Hutch" in the '70s -- a style that reached its zenith in the wildly popular cop show "Miami Vice," which he produced.

During this period, Mann (born Feb. 5, 1943, in Chicago) was also trying his hand at feature films, finding success with early outings such as 1981's Thief and, surprisingly, The Last of the Mohicans (1992), which proved he could meld his visual magic with energetic storytelling. Any skepticism on Hollywood's part would vanish with Mann's next two films: 1995's Heat (with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro) and the multiple Oscar-nominated The Insider (1999).

More recent films for Mann include the Will Smith-starred biopic Ali and 2004's Collateral (with Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx).

Michael Mann in The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans

1992 R

When rugged frontiersman Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) saves the Munro sisters -- two newly arrived English settlers -- from a Huron ambush, he ends up in the midst of the battle between the British and the French for control of the American colonies. Director Michael Mann's first-rate production also stars Madeleine Stowe as the Munro sister who wins Hawkeye's heart, and Wes Studi as the Huron warrior who has a score to settle with her father.

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