Kathryn Ann Bigelow, born on November 27, 1951, is an American filmdirector, working in the science fiction, action and horror genres. Her best-known films are the 1987 horror filmNear Dark and the 2009 war film The Hurt Locker. She won the 2009 Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for directing her latest motion picture, The Hurt Locker, the first woman to do so. She was also nominated for a 2009 Golden Globe and an Oscar for her direction of that film. In 2010, she became the fourth woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director after Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976), Jane Campion for The Piano (1993) and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003).
Bigelow was born in San Carlos, California, the only child of a paint factory manager and a librarian. She broke into cinema via the art world, starting her creative life as a painter as a fellow at the Whitney Museum in New York.
Bigelow entered the graduate film program at Columbia University, where she studied theory and criticism and earned her master’s degree. Her professors included Vito Acconci and Susan Sontag. Bigelow worked with noted conceptualist Lawrence Weiner and worked with the Art & Language collective. She also taught at the California Institute of the Arts.
In 2010, she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director for The Hurt Locker. She is the fourth woman in history and only the second American woman to receive the honor.
Bigelow has modelled for a Gap advertisement, and played the role of anewspaper editor in Lizzie Borden’s 1983 film Born in Flames. Bigelow was married to fellow director James Cameron from 1989 to 1991. Both Bigelow and Cameron are nominated for Best Director for films released in 2009 (with Cameron’s nomination being for Avatar).