Kathryn Bigelow, born 1951, is the first woman ever to win the Directors Guild of America's Best Director Award as well as the Academy Award for Best Directory. She has a net worth of $14 million. This towering woman (she's six feet tall) was born in San Carlos California just outside San Francisco, where she nurtured twin passions for art and horses, later studying painting at The Art Institute of San Francisco, and the Whitney Museum under Susan Sontag, and earning her masters degree in film from Columbia University. Her first movie job was as an actress in the low budget feminist film "Born in Flames".
Bigelow is an indie filmmaker, and a woman, but she steers clear of stereotypes in both areas. Her edgy, often violent, films have included "Point Break" with Keanu Reeves as an undercover FBI agent hunting bank-robbing surfers, "Blue Steel" with Jamie Lee Curtis as a police officer involved with a serial killer, and "Strange Days", a futuristic thriller about mind control with Ralph Fiennes and Angela Basset. Her bankability gave this indie director the credibility and creative freedom to make "The Hurt Locker" on her own terms and win DGA award. This also makes her the front runner to receive the Academy Award for Best Director, becoming the first woman to do that as well.