Roger Corman

In Hollywood they like to say that Roger Corman could negotiate a film's production on a pay phone, shoot the movie in the booth and finance it with the coins in the change slot. A slight exaggeration perhaps, but Corman has built his career on cranking out a staggering number of low-budget features, including the 1960 cult classic The Little Shop of Horrors, which he shot in two days and one night.

Born April 5, 1926, in Detroit, Corman made his directorial debut in 1955, and during the '50s and '60s turned out as many as seven films a year. Among the best known are the seven horror movies he made based on Edgar Allen Poe tales -- all but one of which starred Vincent Price and which include The Raven and The Pit and the Pendulum.

In 1971, Corman officially retired from directing; he has continued to produce low-budget films, however, using the proceeds to distribute art films.