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Lawrence Edward Kasdan (born 14 January, 1949) is an American director, screenwriter, and producer. He is the co-writer of The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Return of the Jedi (1983), and the writer-director of Body Heat (1981), The Big Chill (1983), and The Accidental Tourist (1988). He is known for updating old Hollywood genres—film noir, science-fiction, westerns—in a classical dramatic style with quick-witted dialogue, but dealing with contemporary social themes. He helped create some of the defining cinematic mythologies of the 20th century (with a hand in resurrecting the Star Wars franchise in the 21st), while as a director he has made personal, slightly quixotic movies that examine characters and generations. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards: as a producer for Best Picture nominee The Accidental Tourist, for which he was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, and for Best Original Screenplay for both The Big Chill and Grand Canyon (1993). He has often collaborated with his wife, Meg Kasdan, his brother, Mark Kasdan, and his two sons: Jonathan Kasdan and Jake Kasdan. He frequently casts Kevin Kline and William Hurt.

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