Kate Capshaw has been a constant presence in Steven Spielberg‘s life for over three decades, sharing a life partnership and the occasional professional collaboration. Her journey from special education teacher to Indiana Jones star and devoted wife and mother is a fascinating one.
Let’s dive into the remarkable life of the woman who captured the iconic director’s heart and learn about her personal and professional experiences. From her early days in Missouri to her time on the silver screen and beyond, Kate Capshaw’s story is a testament to her resilience and strength.
Early Life And Career
Born Kathleen Sue Nail in Fort Worth, Texas, Kate Capshaw eventually moved to Missouri, where she pursued a career as a special education teacher. In 1976, she married school principal Robert ‘Bob’ Capshaw, and the couple welcomed their daughter, Jessica Capshaw, before relocating to New York City in 1978. There, Kate began modeling and eventually decided to transition to acting.
Following her divorce in 1980, she took voice and acting lessons, retaining her ex-husband’s last name for professional purposes. In an interview with The Spokesman-Review in the mid-90s, she shared her belief in the unique needs and differences of every individual, and it seems like her life decisions were pretty much based on that.
Starring In Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom
Kate Capshaw’s big break came when she auditioned for the role of Willie Scott in Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Despite having only a few screen credits to her name, Capshaw impressed Spielberg with her talent and charisma. In a later interview with Entertainment Tonight, she recalled the supportive environment on set and how she enjoyed working with Harrison Ford and Spielberg. The film’s success catapulted her to stardom and changed the course of her career.
Relationship And Marriage With Steven Spielberg
After Spielberg’s amicable split from his first wife, actress and singer Amy Irving, he and Capshaw began to grow closer, having first met on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In a 1995 interview with The Spokesman-Review, Capshaw mentioned the couple moved in together in 1989 and welcomed their first daughter, Sasha, in 1990.
They also adopted a son, Theo, whom Capshaw had been fostering. Before their marriage, Capshaw converted to Judaism, as did her and Spielberg’s children. They tied the knot in October 1991 and have since welcomed three more children: son Sawyer and daughters Mikaela and Destry.
Influencing Spielberg’s Work
As Capshaw and Spielberg’s family grew, she chose to step back from the limelight to focus on their children. In her interview with The Spokesman-Review, she expressed her commitment to her family, saying, ‘My jet is the family.’ Capshaw believes that her acting career was neither hurt nor helped by becoming Mrs. Steven Spielberg. However, her marriage to the legendary director did influence some of her project choices, as not every filmmaker wanted Spielberg’s input on their work.
Kate Capshaw And Steven Spielberg Is A Power Couple
In a unique collaboration, Spielberg directed the music video for ‘Cannibal’ by Marcus Mumford, frontman of Mumford & Sons, with Capshaw serving as a producer and art director. This project marked the first and only time Spielberg directed a music video.
Capshaw’s influence on Spielberg’s career also extended to his film choices. In a 2004 interview with Total Film, Spielberg revealed that he almost signed on to direct the hit comedy Meet the Parents, but Capshaw talked him out of it, believing he was not the right fit for an outright comedy.