One of the most promising directors of the late '70s, Ridley Scott displayed stylistic flair and remarkable storytelling abilities in such films as The Duellists (1977) and his landmark Alien (1979). Although he remained a respected director on both sides of the Atlantic, his career suffered repeated blows throughout the 1980s and '90s with a series of critical and commercial missteps, beginning with the costly and unsuccessful 1492: Conquest of Paradise.
Born in 1937, in Northumberland, England, Scott was educated at the West Hartlepool College of Art and London's Royal College of Art. After completing his education, he became a set designer for the British Broadcasting Company in the early '60s, eventually getting promoted to director of such popular BBC series as the long-running police adventure Z Cars. With the establishment of his own firm, Ridley Scott Associates, Scott was in on the ground floor of some of the most inventive European TV commercials of the 1970s.