Michael Cimino was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and author. Born in New York City, he graduated from Yale University in 1963 and began his career filming commercials. He moved to Los Angeles to take up screenwriting in 1971. After co-writing the script of Magnum Force and Silent Running he wrote the preliminary script Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Clint Eastwood read the script and sent it to his personal production company, which allowed Cimino to direct the film. After its success, Cimino co-wrote, directed, and produced the 1978 Academy Award-winning film The Deer Hunter. His next film, Heaven's Gate , proved to be a financial failure. Cimino directed four movies after Heaven's Gate and all of them failed commercially.Early lifeCimino was born in New York City on February 3, 1939. A third-generation Italian-American, Cimino and his brothers grew up with their parents in Old Westbury, Long Island.