Barry Levinson (born April 6, 1942) is an American screenwriter, film director, actor, and producer of film and television. His films include Bugsy, The Natural and Rain Man.
Levinson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Violet "Vi" (née Krichinsky) and Irvin Levinson, who worked in the furniture and appliance business. His family is of Russian Jewish descent. After growing up in Baltimore and graduating from Forest Park Senior High School, Levinson attended Baltimore City Community College, and American University in Washington, D.C., before moving to Los Angeles to work as an actor and writer. Levinson at one time shared an apartment with would-be drug smuggler (and basis for the movie Blow) George Jung.
Levinson's first writing work was for variety shows such as The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine, The Lohman and Barkley Show, The Tim Conway Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. After some success as a screenwriter — notably the Mel Brooks comedies Silent Movie (1976) and High Anxiety (1977) (in which he played a bellboy) and the Oscar-nominated script (co-written by then-wife Valerie Curtin) …And Justice for All (1979) — Levinson began his career as a director with Diner (1982), for which he had also written the script and which earned him a Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.