Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthApril 11, 1944
SpouseElan Oberon, Renee Fabri
MarkFrequently casts Gerry Lopez
FactConsiders himself as a "zen anarchist".

John Milius is an American screenwriter, director, and producer. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 11, 1944. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Lithuania. He has two sisters. Milius was raised in California and attended Stanford University, where he majored in history. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the National Rifle Association.

After graduation, he worked as a journalist for Surfer magazine. He also wrote for The Hollywood Reporter and The Los Angeles Times. In 1971, he sold his first screenplay, “Dirty Harry. ” He went on to write such films as “Apocalypse Now” (1979), “Conan the Barbarian” (1982), and “Red Dawn” (1984). He also directed “Farewell to the King” (1989) and “The Wind and the Lion” (1975). Milius has been married three times.

His first wife was actress Elenore Shaw. His second wife was actress Deborah Raffin. His third wife is actress Jennifer Davis. He has three children. Milius is a conservative Republican and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. ..

General Info

Full NameJohn Milius
Date Of BirthApril 11, 1944
ProfessionScreenwriter, Television producer, Film producer, Film director, Actor
EducationUniversity of Southern California


SpouseElan Oberon, Renee Fabri
ChildrenAmanda Milius, Ethan Jedediah Milius, Marco Alexander Milius
ParentsElizabeth Milius, William Styx Milius


NominationsAcademy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, Writers Guild of America Award for Television: New Series, Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Drama
MoviesConan the Barbarian, Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn, Big Wednesday, The Wind and the Lion, Dirty Harry, Dillinger, Jeremiah Johnson, Magnum Force, Farewell to the King, Flight of the Intruder, Clear and Present Danger, Rough Riders, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, 1941, Geronimo: An American Legend,...
TV ShowsRome, Melvin Purvis: G-Man

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Liked to say outrageous things.
2Films often reflect his conservative political beliefs
3Frequently casts Gerry Lopez


1[on Francis Ford Coppola] Francis is the best of us all. He has the most talent and the most daring. There are a lot of faults in Francis, but I think he's the leader.
2[on "The Searchers"] A lot happens in old movies. Ideas were communicated. Ford's "The Searchers," for example. Sure, it's a story about a guy searching for his niece, but it's also a movie about the family. It's a movie about pioneering and what it is to be a pioneer, what it is to put yourself out on a limb. It's a movie about doing your job.
3[on "Dillinger"] I got very expensive as a writer, so I was able to make a deal with AIP, who'd have never been able to buy one of my scripts. I said I'll write whatever you want if I can direct it. I'd have paid them to direct. I looked at the gangsters of the time, and the one that had the most appeal was Dillinger. It was a subject I never would have chosen myself, but it allowed me to show how good I could do a gunfight, make the stuff cut together, make the story hold up, and make the actors act... I like it (the violence) because it's real. There are consequences in "Dillinger." You rob a bank, people are going to start shooting, and people are going to get hurt and shot. They run over a woman leaving the bank because that's what they did. They wee desperate. But you don't dwell on it. You don't dwell on the bullet hole and blood pulsing out.
4[on "The Wind nd the Lion"] I consider "The Wind and the Lion" my first real movie. I approached it as a David Lean film, to do it in that style, a large epic canvas, to see id I could pull off great movements of troops. The story is even written that way. Two guys, the Rasuli and Teddy Roosevelt, yelling at each other across oceans.
5[In a 1982 interview] It's important to go out and do something in your life, to do something with tremendous commitment and dedication. Maybe put your life on he line to do it. It's important. It makes you a bigger person. We've gotten away from this. The pursuit of excellence - that's really one of the values I try to get into all the movies I do... It's all summed up so well in a surfer term - 'GGo for it!"
6[1982 interview] I will always be disliked by the Eastern critical establishment,
7[1982 interview] Whatever I say sounds okay when I say it, but when it's printed, it's awful. I end up being this terrible guy that has guns and likes to shoot hippies. They always take the humor out of what I say. 'Milius in Jack Boots and Leather Coat Says Facism Is On the Rise!', that kind of thing, or 'Para-Military Group Led By Director!'
8[1982 interview] I love "Apocalpse, Now"... That one movie justifies my career. I feel I really did something worthwhile by writing it. Even though I share credit (with Coppola) and I didn't direct it, it's a real piece of me.
9Luxuries and comforts are evil for humans.
10You know, in fact, I am not a fascist. I am a total man of the people. They are the fascists[Hollywood critics]. They're creating the fascist society. I am much closer to a Maoist. However, I am a Zen anarchist. --In an interview with Ken Plume on
11[on Conan the Barbarian] A feverish dream on acid.
12Everything has style, everything's a bit larger than life and done with mischief. That's the way Conan is.
13I've led a whole life behind enemy lines. I've been the victim of so much persecution. I'm the barbarian of Hollywood.
14[on the "Do I feel lucky?" speech in Dirty Harry (1971)] I have a .44 Magnum, I love the .44 Magnum, in fact I still have the .44 Magnum that inspired that that line. The Second Amendment becomes more important every day.
15[on Mexican drug traffickers] We need to go down there, kill them all, flatten the place with bulldozers so when you wake up in the morning, there's nothing there. I do believe if you have a military, you use it.
16I was watching Rush Limbaugh the other night, and I was horrified. I would have Rush Limbaugh drawn and quartered. He was sticking up for these Wall Street pigs. There should be public show trials, mass denunciations and executions.
17I try to maintain a certain innocence toward my material. I like to say that I do what I do because I like it and that it's not preachy. When I try to put my finger on what I have to say, it's very vague. It's just an attitude. As Herman Melville put it in "Moby Dick": 'a free and easy desperado geniality.' That's my attitude. Melville was talking about men rowing into the mouth of a whale with their backs to it. I suppose that's what life is like.
18If there hadn't been an Arnold around for Conan, we would have had to create him". -Muscle & Fitness magazine, July 1982
19I love the bomb. It's sort of a religious totem to me. Like the plague in the Middle Ages, it's the hand of God coming out indiscriminantly to snatch you.
20[on the violence in Conan the Barbarian being rather essential]: "It's not that violent, although I was happy not to get an X rating. But if you said 'Conan the Barbarian' was rated PG, people would feel cheated. We weren't making 'Conan's Divorce', you know."
21[on being rejected for military service due to asthma]: "I'm a very efficient director - it's my training in military tactics. I've trained my whole life to be a general but I never could. So I became the next best thing, a movie director."


1Suffered a severe stroke, and was treated for pancreatic cancer.
2He is Jewish.
3According to Milius, he didn't get on to well with Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack on Jeremiah Johnson (1972) and he was fired. Milius claims that his substitute "...couldn't write that stuff," and the only who contributed anything was Edward Anhalt. Redford and Pollack ultimately rehired Milis after Anhalt had left the project.
4Lost most of his fortune in the early naughts due to a corrupt accountant. Desperate to pay for his son's Law School tuition, He asked his friend _David Milch_ to hire him as a staff writer for Deadwood (2004). Milch refused based on the absurdity of hiring a veteran screenwriter for entry-level work, and instead offered to simply pay the son's tuition in full. Milius later repaid Milch for the loan.
5He was partially the basis for the character of Walter in the cult classic The Big Lebowski (1998).
6Despite making two films about Theodore Roosevelt, The Wind and the Lion (1975) and Rough Riders (1997), he considers himself too enamored with Roosevelt to ever make an actual biographical film about his life.
7Cigar smoker.
8Turned down the role of Jack Lipnick in Barton Fink (1991).
9Made an honorary member of the Sioux Nation, after his filming of The Rough Riders.
10Was the inspiration for drag-racer John Milner (played by Paul Le Mat) in American Graffiti (1973).
11Is a close friend of MMA legends Rorion Gracie and Rickson Gracie and Jennifer Salt.
12His favorites films are Howard Hawks' Red River (1948), and "Viva Villa," Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers (1966) (aka Battle of Algiers), Raoul Walsh's They Died with Their Boots On (1941), John Ford's The Searchers (1956) and They Were Expendable (1945), Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954) (aka Seven Samurai), Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd. (1950), Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960), John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and Orson Welles' Citizen Kane (1941).
13Despite his political beliefs, he is an avid fan of director Spike Lee.
14Considers himself as a "zen anarchist".
15Was Sergio Leone's first choice to write Once Upon a Time in America (1984). But due to scheduling problems, and Leone's struggle to acquire the rights of Harry Grey's book The Hoods, Milius passed on the project.
16Is one of the original founders of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
17Through his work, on Rough Riders (1997), he was instrumental in causing President Theodore Roosevelt to be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for acts of conspicuous gallantry on San Juan Hill.
18Milius, an avid gun collector, insisted that part of his payment for writing Jeremiah Johnson (1972) be in antique weapons.
19Is a personal friend of the Coen brothers and was the inspiration for the character of Walter in the The Big Lebowski (1998).
20Member of the NRA Board of Directors from 1995-2001. He currently serves on the Public Affairs and Shotgun Committees.
21Wrote "U.S.S. Indianapolis" scene in Jaws (1975).
22Wrote the line, "Go ahead, make my day," for Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" character in Sudden Impact (1983).
23Is an avid gun collector.
24Attended Los Angeles City College and USC School of Cinema-Television, where he won an International Student Film Festival Award.




Red Dawn20121984 screenplay
Homefront2011Video Game written by
Between the Lines: The True Story of Surfers and the Vietnam War2008Documentary guest writer
RomeTV Series created by - 22 episodes, 2005 - 2007 written by - 1 episode, 2005
Apocalypse Oz2006Short screenplay "Apocalypse Now"
Medal of Honor: European Assault2005Video Game story: design team / writer: design team
Rough Riders1997TV Series written by - 2 episodes
Clear and Present Danger1994screenplay
Geronimo: An American Legend1993screenplay / story
Conan1991Video Game character
Farewell to the King1989screenplay
Extreme Prejudice1987story
Miami Vice1987TV Series story - 1 episode
Red Dawn1984screenplay
Conan the Barbarian1982written by
Apocalypse Now1979written by
Big Wednesday1978written by
The Wind and the Lion1975written by
Melvin Purvis G-MAN1974TV Movie creator / story / teleplay
Magnum Force1973screenplay / story
Dillinger1973written by
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean1972original screenplay
Jeremiah Johnson1972screenplay
Dirty Harry1971screenplay - uncredited
Evel Knievel1971screenplay
The Devil's 81969screenplay
The Emperor1967Documentary short


Rome2005-2007TV Series executive producer - 14 episodes
Uncommon Valor1983producer
Used Cars1980executive producer
19411979executive producer
Hardcore1979executive producer


Rough Riders1997TV Series 2 episodes
Rebel Highway1994TV Series 1 episode
Motorcycle Gang1994TV Movie
Flight of the Intruder1991
Farewell to the King1989
The Twilight Zone1985TV Series 1 episode
Red Dawn1984
Conan the Barbarian1982
Big Wednesday1978
The Wind and the Lion1975
The Reversal of Richard Sun1970
Marcello, I'm Bored1970Short


The War I Knew2014military advisor
East to West2011TV Series documentary program consultant - 7 episodes
Lone Wolf McQuade1983spiritual advisor


On Story2011TV Series
The Twilight Zone1985TV SeriesAttendant (segment "Opening Day")
Conan the Barbarian1982Foodseller in the Old City (uncredited)
Big Wednesday1978Marijuana Dealer in Tijuana (uncredited)
Crazy Mama1975Cop (uncredited)
The Wind and the Lion1975The One-Armed Military Advisor (uncredited)
Deadhead Miles19732nd State Trooper
The Reversal of Richard Sun1970The Chauffeur


The Lotus Gun2015Short special thanks
The War I Knew2014very special thanks
A Night at the Movies: The Gigantic World of Epics2009TV Movie documentary special thanks
Inglourious Basterds2009special thanks
Popcorn Porn: Watching 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno'2009Video documentary the producers wish to thank
Between the Lines: The True Story of Surfers and the Vietnam War2008Documentary special thanks
Iron and Beyond2002Video documentary short special thanks
Dirty Harry: The Original2001Video documentary short special thanks
The Bridge on the River Kwai: An Appreciation by Filmmaker John Milius2000Video documentary short special thanks


Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray2011DocumentaryNarrator (voice)
Conan: From the Vault2011Video shortHimself
Jaws: The Inside Story2010TV Movie documentaryHimself
Hollywood Don't Surf!2010DocumentaryHimself
A Night at the Movies: The Gigantic World of Epics2009TV Movie documentaryHimself - Interviewee
Hollywood Gangster2008TV Movie documentaryHimself
A Moral Right: The Politics of Dirty Harry2008Video documentary shortHimself
The Business End: Violence in Cinema2008Video documentary shortHimself
The Evolution of Clint Eastwood2008Video documentary shortHimself
The Long Shadow of Dirty Harry2008Video documentary shortHimself
Between the Lines: The True Story of Surfers and the Vietnam War2008DocumentaryNarrator (voice)
The Craft of Dirty Harry2008Video documentary shortHimself
Spec Ops2006TV Series documentarySeries Host
The Searchers: An Appreciation2006Video shortHimself
American Masters2006TV Series documentaryHimself
Special Ops with John Milius2006Video documentaryHimself
Hollywood Vietnam2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope2004Video documentaryHimself
Rated 'R': Republicans in Hollywood2004TV Movie documentaryHimself
An Opera of Violence2003Video documentary shortHimself
Something to Do with Death2003Video documentary shortHimself
The Wages of Sin2003Video documentary shortHimself
Discovering Treasure: The Story of the Treasure of the Sierra Madre2003Video documentaryNarrator (voice)
Capturing the Swell2003Video documentary short
Go West, Young Man!2003DocumentaryHimself
Frazetta: Painting with Fire2003DocumentaryHimself
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood2003DocumentaryHimself
Surf Now Apocalypse Later2002TV Movie documentaryHimself
Iron and Beyond2002Video documentary shortHimself - Director
Modern Marvels2002TV Series documentaryHimself
E! True Hollywood Story2002TV Series documentaryHimself
Dirty Harry: The Original2001Video documentary shortHimself
Conan Unchained: The Making of 'Conan'2000Video documentaryHimself
The Bridge on the River Kwai: An Appreciation by Filmmaker John Milius2000Video documentary shortHimself
Hell Hath No Fury1999Video documentary shortNarrator (voice)
A Turning of the Earth: John Ford, John Wayne and the Searchers1998Documentary shortvoice of John Milius (voice)
Hollywood Salutes Arnold Schwarzenegger: An American Cinematheque Tribute1998TV SpecialHimself
Frank Capra's American Dream1997TV Movie documentaryHimself - Interviewee: Writer / Director
In Search of 'Da Cat'1996TV Movie documentaryHimself
Ben Johnson: Third Cowboy on the Right1996DocumentaryHimself
The Making of '1941'1996Video documentaryHimself
American Cinema1995TV Series documentaryHimself
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse1991DocumentaryHimself
Signals1990TV Series documentaryHimself
First Works1989TV Movie documentaryHimself
Talking Pictures1988TV Series documentaryHimself
The Lion Roars Again1975Documentary shortHimself
The Making of 'The Wind and the Lion'1975Documentary shortHimself

Archive Footage

A Million Feet of Film: The Editing of Apocalypse Now2006Video documentary shortHimself


Won Awards

1998Lone Star Film & Television AwardLone Star Film & Television AwardsBest TV TeleplayRough Riders (1997)
1994Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsTheatrical Motion PictureGeronimo: An American Legend (1993)
1972Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsTheatrical Motion PictureJeremiah Johnson (1972)

Nominated Awards

2006Banff Rockie AwardBanff Television FestivalBest Mini-SeriesRome (2005)
2006WGA Award (TV)Writers Guild of America, USANew SeriesRome (2005)
2001Video Premiere AwardDVD Exclusive AwardsBest DVD Audio CommentaryConan the Barbarian (1982)
1980OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another MediumApocalypse Now (1979)
1980WGA Award (Screen)Writers Guild of America, USABest Drama Written Directly for the ScreenApocalypse Now (1979)
1976WGA Award (Screen)Writers Guild of America, USABest Drama Written Directly for the ScreenThe Wind and the Lion (1975)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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