Paul Verhoeven

Date of birth


Director Paul Verhoeven makes popular films for wide audiences both at home in the Netherlands as well as abroad in the United States.

Verhoeven studied mathematics and physics at the University of Leiden from 1955 to 1960. During his last year he also attended the Film Academy. In 1960 he made his directorial debut with the short film Een Hagedis te veel. In the Netherlands he became well known for his television series Floris (1969) and in 1971 the film Wat zien ik? was a major hit. His film Turks fruit, adapted from the book by Jan Wolkers, sold 3.5 million tickets, making it the biggest Dutch box-office hit of all times. The film was nominated in 1974 for an Oscar for best foreign-language film and received a special Golden Calf award for the best Dutch film of the 20th century.

After his films Spetters and the Spanish-American co-production Flesh + Blood received devasting reviews from the critics, he left for the United States in 1985. He then made a succession of films that brought him world renown: RoboCop (1987), Total Recall (1990) and Basic Instinct (1992). Verhoeven couldn't match these successes with Showgirls (1995), Starship Troopers (1997) or Hollow Man (2000). In 2002 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Festival of the Fantastische Film in Amsterdam.

In 2006 his first Dutch-language film in 20 years was released: Zwartboek. Zwartboek won three Golden Calf awards at the Netherlands Film Festival (Best Feature, Best Direction and Best Actress, Carice van Houten). In 2007, Verhoeven was decorated as a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion.


  1. 1971
  2. 1973
  3. 1975

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