This is a beta version of NNDB
Search: for

David Lynch

David LynchAKA David Keith Lynch

Born: 20-Jan-1946
Birthplace: Missoula, MT

Gender: Male
Religion: See Note [1]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Film Director

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Blue Velvet

David Lynch's earliest interest was art, not film, and his post-high school education was focused in that direction. While attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, however, he "heard a little wind" while working on a painting, and was gripped by a desire to see one of his paintings move. The result of this urge was Six Men Getting Sick (1967): a film projected onto a canvas that had 3-dimensional elements built into it. Upon seeing this work, a wealthy patron commissioned Lynch to create another -- a project that ended up being a wash, but led to the creation of his first proper foray into film, The Alphabet (1968), which in turn led to David's acceptance into The American Film Institute. While at the Institute David created a second short, The Grandmother (1970), but it was his next undertaking that would prove most critical to his future.

Beginning in 1972 and continuing up until 1976, David Lynch literally lived on the set of Eraserhead. All of his time and money was invested in creating this, his first and most notorious feature film. In its style and design, many of the trademark elements that would characterize his future work first became fully realized: careful, deliberate dialogue, dramatic lighting, and an utter disregard for the boundary between abstraction and reality were brought together to portray a world with familiar trappings but a wholly alien feel. The film was far from successful upon its release, but it did bring David to the attention of producer Mel Brooks, who was impressed enough to hire him to direct The Elephant Man (1980), which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best director.

The next project was a complete nightmare for the director: an adaptation of the science fiction novel Dune (1984). Dealing for the first time with an enormous production and the accompanying pressures from "higher up", Lynch suffered such mental duress that he claims not to remember even completing the picture. Arguably the weakest link in his chain, it does still benefit from his distinctive visual style (as well as an appearance by Erasherhead's Jack Nance). Most importantly, it led directly to the creation of Blue Velvet (1986), the film that finally established Lynch as an internationally-renowned director.

The subsequent course of David Lynch's career follows the pattern established up to this point: periods of critical and popular acclaim: the Twin Peaks series (1989), Wild at Heart (1990) followed by an inevitable backlash where the film world lines up to spit on him -- viz. Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me (1992). However, his successes have established him well enough that he can essentially create the projects he chooses without undue outside interference in the process. His loyalty to his collaborators has come to be as well established as his creative style, with many cast and crew members working with him on successive productions -- including some that worked with him as far back as Eraserhead.

[1] Transcendental Meditation.

Father: Donald (research scientist)
Mother: Sunny
Brother: John
Sister: Martha
Wife: Peggy Reavey (film industry, m. 1967, div. 1974, one daughter)
Daughter: Jennifer Lynch (filmmaker, b. 1968)
Wife: Mary Fisk (m. 21-Jun-1977, div. 1982, one son)
Son: Austin (b. 1982)
Girlfriend: Mary Sweeney (film editor, one son)
Son: Riley (b. 1992)
Slept with:
Isabella Rossellini (actress)

    University: Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC
    University: School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (one year)
    University: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
    University: AFI Conservatory, Los Angeles

    Eagle Scout
    Parodied As A Muppet David Finch
    Transcendental Meditation
    Risk Factors: Smoking, Marijuana

    Twin Peaks Creator/Director (1990-91)
    Twin Peaks FBI Chief Gordon Cole (1990-91)
    On the Air Director/Writer/Producer (1992)
    Hotel Room Director/Producer (1993)

    Inland Empire (6-Sep-2006)
    Rabbits (2002)
    Mulholland Dr. (16-May-2001)
    The Straight Story (21-May-1999)
    Lost Highway (21-Feb-1997)
    Lumière and Company (20-Dec-1995)
    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (28-Aug-1992)
    Wild at Heart (17-Aug-1990)
    Industrial Symphony No. 1: The Dream of the Broken Hearted (1990)
    Blue Velvet (19-Sep-1986)
    Dune (14-Dec-1984)
    The Elephant Man (3-Oct-1980)
    Eraserhead (17-Mar-1977)

    Lucky (11-Mar-2017)
    Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (4-Sep-2012) · Himself
    Side by Side (Feb-2012) · Himself
    Pearl Jam Twenty (10-Sep-2011) · Himself
    Great Directors (19-May-2009) · Himself
    Lynch (23-Jun-2007) · Himself
    Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (13-May-2005) · Himself
    Lumière and Company (20-Dec-1995) · Himself
    Nadja (13-Sep-1994)
    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (28-Aug-1992)
    Zelly and Me (15-Apr-1988)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity (2006, autobiography)

Create a map starting with David Lynch
Requires Flash 7+ and Javascript.

Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile

Copyright ©2019 Soylent Communications