Julie Taymor, Director of Theater, Opera, and Film
Julie was the first woman to win a Tony in Directing a Musical (the Lion King, for which she also won in Original Costume Design). The Lion King has been seen by nearly 45 million people worldwide in 63 countries. Julie is also the first woman to win the William Shakespeare Award for Classic Theatre (the “Will Award”) from the Shakespeare Theater Company.
"I really do believe that if you don't challenge yourself and risk failing, that it's not interesting. This is a story that was told many times with The Lion King, but when I first created this concept, none of that brass at Disney -- except for the producer, Tom Schumacher, and one other, Peter Schneider -- really believed in it. So I said, 'Fine. If you don't believe that you can put masks on people's heads and create this dual event, where you have the human and the animal simultaneously, get me the money to do it properly and I'll do a workshop. And I'll do three different kinds: I'll do my original concept, I'll do makeup and I'll do a mask. Because I've got nothing to prove. I just believe that this is the right technique for telling this story.’”
American Academy of Achievement, Photograph via Disney