Wim Wenders

Born Aug. 14, 1945, in Düsseldorf, Germany, Wim Wenders grew up a fan of American B movies. After working briefly as a film critic, Wenders began to make his own movies, and in 1970 he formed a production company with friends.

Wenders' first film to make a splash outside of Germany was 1973's A Scarlet Letter, which featured a stunning turn by Senta Berger as Hester Prynne. For his English-language film debut, The American Friend (1977), he adapted a Patricia Highsmith novel and cast Dennis Hopper as charming sociopath Tom Ripley.

Over the years, Wenders has continued to make movies in America and abroad, including 1984's Paris, Texas (based on the writings of Sam Shepard), 1987's Wings of Desire (featuring Henri Alekan's exquisite cinematography) and 1997's The End of Violence. In 2000, Wenders received an Oscar nomination for his lyrical documentary Buena Vista Social Club.