|Occupation||Film director, theater director, film producer|
Michael Schultz (born November 10, 1938) is an American director and producer of theater, film and television.
Schultz was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of an African-American mother Katherine Frances Leslie (1917-1995),[failed verification] and Leo Albert Schultz (1913-2001), an insurance salesman of German descent. Shortly before his birth his parents married in Iowa, where both were listed as black on their marriage license. Mr. Schultz's occupation was listed as "Musician" at the time of his marriage.
Michael Schultz, who was known as "Mike" growing up, attended Riverside High School in Milwaukee, where he was a very active student. He played baseball, football and participated in student theater productions.
After his undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Marquette University, he attended Princeton University, where in 1966 he directed his first play, a production of Waiting for Godot. He joined the Negro Ensemble Company in 1968, which brought him to Broadway in 1969. His breakthrough was directing Lorraine Hansberry's To Be Young, Gifted and Black, which he restaged for television in 1972.
Schultz' earliest film projects combined low comedy with profound social comment (Honeybaby, Honeybaby and Cooley High), reaching a peak with the ensemble comedy Car Wash (1976) and Which Way Is Up? (1977), starring Richard Pryor.
In 1978, Schultz took the reins of the musical Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with the largest budget ever entrusted to an African-American film director to that date. However, upon its release, the project was a commercial and critical failure. Schultz made the ensemble comedy Scavenger Hunt (1979), Denzel Washington's film debut Carbon Copy (1981), and the screwball comedy Disorderlies (1987). On July 23, 1986, Michael Schultz formed his own production company Crystalite Productions, with his wife Gloria Schultz, and wanted to start producing three features in development.
More recently, Schultz has worked in television, piloting episodes of such style-conscious series as The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Picket Fences, as well as an abundance of TV movies.
In 1991, Schultz was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame.
Schultz married Gloria Jones in Brooklyn, New York in 1965. As an actress his wife is known professionally as Lauren Jones. In non-acting capacities, she is known as Gloria Schultz. The couple have two children.