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      Maurice Sendak

      Maurice Sendak

      Highest Rated: 80% Last Dance (2002)

      Lowest Rated: 73% Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

      Birthday: Jun 10, 1928

      Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA

      Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1928, Maurice Sendak's childhood was filled with struggle. There was the Great Depression, WWII (during which a number of Sendak's relatives were killed in concentration camps), and a long string of illnesses, which conspired to keep him bedridden much of the time. It was during these stretches that the young Sendak began to see drawing as an escape. While still in high school, he worked part-time, drawing backgrounds for Underground Comics' "Mutt & Jeff" comic strip. In 1948, Sendak took a job building window displays for F.A.O. Schwartz, which in turn led to an introduction to the children's book editor for Harper & Row, who helped him land jobs illustrating books like A Hole is to Dig and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Farm. In 1956, Sendak published Kenny's Window, the first book he both wrote and illustrated. Sendak earned the Caldecott Award for his 1963 book Where the Wild Things Are. The book broke the mold of children's books, featuring a misbehaving protagonist, rather than the well-mannered heroes who had dominated the genre. The book became a standard in nearly every household, turning Sendak into a sensation. While he continued to write and illustrate his own books, like Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must be More to Life and In the Night Kitchen, he still illustrated the works of other authors, including Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Brothers Grimm, and Leo Tolstoy. In 1981, Sendak paired with the Houston Opera to design a production of "The Magic Flute." It would be the first of many theater designs, including "The Nutcracker" for Pacific Northwest Ballet, in Seattle. Sendak was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 1996. In 2003, he notably collaborated with playwright Tony Kushner on an adaptation of the opera "Brundibár," which was first performed by children in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. His books were named best-illustrated book of the year by the New York Times twenty two times. Sendak passed away in 2012.


      WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, from left: Paul Dano, director Spike Jonze, writer Maurice Sendak, on set, 2009. ©Warner Bros. LAST DANCE, Maurice Sendak, 2001



      73% 57% Where the Wild Things Are Producer $77.2M 2009
      80% 100% Last Dance Self $14.8K 2002


      No Score Yet No Score Yet George and Martha Executive Producer 1999-2000