- Title: FILE: Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas turns 70
- Date: 13th May 2014
- Summary: CANNES, FRANCE (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF GEORGE LUCAS AND MELLODY HOBSON
- Embargoed: 28th May 2014 13:00
- Location: Usa, France
- Country: France
- Topics: General,People
- Reuters ID: LVA3A8611DYGOJ3LU2PO04AR6VII
- Story Text: Famous as the creator of the 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones' franchises, American filmmaker George Lucas turns 70 on Wednesday (May 14).
In a Hollywood career spanning nearly five decades he has been nominated for four academy awards and is responsible for the creation of some of the industry's best known companies, including the Pixar animated film studio, the sound equipped system THX and Lucasfilm Ltd.
Speaking to Reuters at an event celebrating the 30th anniversary of Star Wars in 2007, Lucas admitted the films almost felt like a child to him.
"Well, in the end I spent 20 years of my life making it, so of course it feels like my baby," Lucas said.
"Because, I worked very hard on it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a long, long time. It's a big part of my life. It was designed to inspire people to use their imagination, so I'm glad that it's being used for what it was designed for," he added.
Lucas married Mellody Hobson, the president of Ariel Investments, in California in June 2013. In August that year the pair became parents to a baby girl born via surrogate.
Lucas also has three adopted children, Amanda, 32; Katie, 25; and 20-year-old Jett Lucas.
This is the second marriage for Lucas, who was previously married to Oscar-winning film editor Marcia Lou Griffin from 1969 to 1983.
In October 2012 he sold his production company Lucasfilm Ltd. to Walt Disney Co for $4.05 billion.
Since then Disney has announced plans for three new "Star Wars" films for the big screen which will be made in Britain and a new animated series to air on television in 2014.
"Star Wars" has become a cultural phenomenon, making characters such as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Darth Vader, and phrases like "May the force be with you" part of popular culture.
The original six-film franchise has grossed more than $4.4 billion at the worldwide box office.
San Francisco's mayor is currently putting his staff to work to find a site for Lucas' planned art museum, three months after a proposal was rejected to build the center on a prime slice of federal parkland at the city's northern edge.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee faces competition from Chicago, which is also seeking to attract the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum and its 10,000 pieces ranging from animation to fine art, with works by Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell.
Last year in an interview with CBS Lucas described the museum as a "dedication to cultural fantasy."
The billionaire, who was raised in Modesto, California, and owns a vast property called Skywalker Ranch in the San Francisco Bay area's Marin County, bought his first work of art for $25 when he was a University of Southern California film student.
It was a page from one of Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge comic books.
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