Biographical data

This page contains all the guidelines needed to successfully add bio information to the page of any person listed on IMDb.


GUIDES (by Section)

Biographical Books | Biographical Titles | Biographical Trivia
Birth Name | Date of Birth | Date of Death
Height | Other Works | Portrayed In
Mini-Biographies | Nicknames | Quotes
Printed Publicity - Articles | Cover Photos | Interviews | Pictorials
Spouse Details | Trademarks

Important: Creating Links

Birth Name

  • This should be the full name the person had at birth, in print format; for example, John Doe, not Doe, John.
  • Include any suffixes that are part of the name (Jr., III) but do not include any Roman numerals used by IMDb to distinguish people with the same name ( "(I)" ).
  • We do not consider Wikipedia (or other collaboratively edited wiki-style sites) to be an acceptable source for birth names. However, many Wikipedia articles include online citations and external links which provide supporting evidence of the subject's birth name, and these are often appropriate URLs to include in your submission.

  • Nicknames   

  • This should be nickname commonly used, either when addressing the person or writing about him/her in the media.
  • It's not necessary to include the surname unless that is an integral part of the nickname; in other words, if John Doe is known as Jack, you should enter Jack, not Jack Doe.

  • Bio-Trivia    

    The biographical trivia list is the place where we collect random non-essential details about a person that are considered to be more amusing and interesting than serious or important and that do not fit, or are not significant to enough be mentioned, in a full mini-biography.

    Each piece of trivia should be sent as a separate item. If you have more than one piece of trivia to add, then add them as multiple items. Bio trivia items should add directly or indirectly to the distinctive attributes of a person and provide/give an insight to that particular person rather than common trivia that could apply to most other people (i.e. “is a vegetarian” or “likes dogs”). In order to cover a variety of interesting facts, multiple trivia items focused on the same topic may be rejected, edited or consolidated into a single entry.

    If you mention a person or a title (movie, TV series / episode) that is also listed on IMDb, you must use the [link=title number or person number] format to automatically create a hyperlink to the relevant page.


    Acceptable Bio-Trivia

  • Relationships (parents, children, etc.), particularly when the relatives are also listed in the database. We also list meaningful relationships such as partnerships, cohabitations, or unions that are not legally recognized and which therefore are not eligible for listing under spouse information. (NB: Do not add spouses - they have their own section.)
  • Awards (Nobel Prize, Tony, Grammy, etc) - (NB: not film or TV - these awards have their own section.)

  • Unacceptable Bio-Trivia

  • Physical Measurements such as weight, clothing size, hip, bust and waist (as these are changeable over time) or height (which has its own section).
  • Derogatory and/or speculative information (such as rumors/gossip).
  • Personal details about sexual orientation, religion, medical history, political/ideological affiliations, unless significantly relevant and/or unless they represent the focus of a person’s public career or activism.
  • Information about dating that does not constitute a significant relationship.
  • Rumors or gossip are completely and specifically excluded.
  • Not very trivial trivia: eye colors, favorite foods or beverages, favorite colors, and similar teen-magazine fodder (unless significantly outside the norm and thus intrinsically interesting.) 'Favorites' are only accepted where they relate to a person's job (i.e. an author's favorite book, a director's favorite film.)
  • No items that are already readily available through the database functions. In particular, "same birthday as" someone else, unless it's particularly interesting because of some kind of very significant connection between the two people (other than being a twin, which should be explicitly noted), is no longer accepted.
  • Appearances in stage plays, radio, and other works not accepted in the main listings should be sent as Other Works not trivia.
  • Books and articles written by the person should also be sent as Other Works.
  • Television guest appearances should be sent as Cast entries for the appropriate episode(s).
  • Any time sensitive biographical information that has the likelihood of changing over a long time span such as what titles they are known for or who someone is friends with should only be eligible for publication if it is pertinent to their career or public image; for example Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen or Tina Fey and Amy Poehler often perform together and their friendships are prominent in the industry and in the public eye.

  • Date of Birth/Date of Death  

  • We do not remove valid dates of birth/dates of death, so please do not submit deletions.
  • The place of birth should be in the same form as a location in the locations list, with the city (if applicable) and country, plus whatever other subdivisions are appropriate for the country (i.e., state - examples: Los Angeles, California, USA; London, England, UK, etc.)
  • The place of birth/death should reflect the political divisions at the time. In cases where divisions or place names have changed over time, it is acceptable to show the current place names within [square brackets]. If the name of the birth place has changed, list the new name as [now ...] i.e. here. If the territory of the birth place has changed, list the name of the current territory as [now in...] i.e. here.
  • A list of the locations currently being used can be displayed by clicking on the gray list icon ( ) next to the place field.
  • We do not consider Wikipedia (or other collaboratively edited wiki-style sites) to be an acceptable source for birth dates. However, many Wikipedia articles include online citations and external links which provide supporting evidence of the subject's birth date, and these are often appropriate URLs to include in your submission.
  • We are looking for links to public records, printed publications, or official documents.
  • We do allow social media links to be an acceptable source for birthdates (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • If submitting a date of birth for a minor under 18 years of age, you must include a URL confirming the year of birth. We will no longer accept DOBs for minors without supporting evidence.
  • We do hold some BC/BCE birth and death dates, but at the moment it's not possible to add this type of data through our submissions system. If you have data like this that you wish to add, please contact us using the form below and we'll be glad to help.

    Height     

    Correcting Our Height Data

  • Please enter the height in either metric or imperial units, whichever you have available. If you happen to have both, please use imperial.
  • If using metric units, don't use a period to separate meters from centimeters. 1.65 cm is a lot smaller than 165 cm!
  • Please note: Our policy is to not remove factual data. If you wish to change an existing height, please select the option CORRECT. Otherwise, all requests for completely removing a height should be sent to our Customer Service team.
  • If you think we have the wrong height for someone and want to correct it, then it's often a case of providing a better 'source' than our existing 'source'. You can provide your source in the explanation field when submitting a correction:
  • If your source is a link to a forum with various people simply debating someone's height, then it's unlikely to disprove our existing height.
  • Explanations such as "they look X tall in this photo" or "in this photo they look about 1/2 inch shorter than Y who is standing next to them" are also unlikely to disprove our existing height.
  • If your source contains an interview with someone disclosing their precise height in person, then it's more likely to convince us.

  • Mini-Biographies

    The biography should provide a broad objective overview of the person; not just their latest credits or subjective opinion. We already have the person's filmography so the biography should detail additional personal information in chronological order. Biographies usually answer questions such as:

  • Where did the person grow up?
  • Who were their parents?
  • Which school did they attend?
  • How were they discovered?
  • What was their debut?
  • What was their breakthrough?

  • Key Points

  • All bios must: be written in English
  • All bios should be in the third person: "he attended", not first person: "I attended"
  • Write in a sentence structure and not in a resume format
  • Don't use block capitals
  • You must submit personal quotes to the personal quotes section
  • You must submit website URLs to external sites (names)
  • You must submit dates of birth to the date of birth section
  • It is our policy not to remove biographies in their entirety, unless we receive an updated or amended version of a similar length
  • Replacing a biography that contains a good deal of background information with one containing almost no bio information (i.e. only includes their credits) will be considered the same as attempting to delete a biography
  • As with all data, we reserve the right to edit or reject biographies.


    Spouse Details     

  • This field records legally recognized marriages and partnerships only
  • Domestic partnerships, cohabitations, or unions that are not legally recognized should be submitted as biographical trivia
  • The spouse name should be submitted in the format First name Last name (i.e. Paul Newman)
  • Females should be listed by their maiden last name unless she has an IMDb page in her married name in which case she should be listed by her married surname with a link to her IMDb page: (i.e. David Beckham's spouse would be listed as 'Victoria Beckham') . If the maiden surname is not known, the first name can added on its own without a surname (i.e. Victoria)
  • If a person is separated or filing for divorce, they are still married so it should be listed:

    Joe Bloggs (2 April 2010 - present) (separated)

    Joe Bloggs (2 April 2010 - present) (filed for divorce)

  • At the time of death, if a person is separated or filing for divorce, they are still married so it should listed with the date of death:

    'Joe Bloggs' (2 April 2012 - 4 May 2013) (her death)


  • Salary Details

  • The base salary, not including residuals or profit participation, for work on a given title.
  • Please use the appropriate currency symbol (i.e. $5,000, £5,000 or €5,000) or the standard 3-letter abbreviation (i.e. EUR5,000, USD5,000 or GBP5,000).

  • Real-Life Quotes

    If you mention a person or a title (movie, TV series / episode) that is also listed on IMDb, you must use the [link=title number or person number] format to automatically create a hyperlink to the relevant page.

    	[on [link=tt0093300]] I have never seen it, but by all accounts it
    	is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.
              
    	[on [link=nm0001716]] He was a creative visionary whose mark on film is
            immeasurable.
    
  • Real life quotes are unscripted statements the person has made themselves, generally in an interview or lecture setting
  • Quotes they have been said in character should be submitted as a Title Quote to the relevant Film/TV show
  • Don't submit a person's favorite quote that has been said by another person (i.e. a quote by Mark Twain)
  • Don't submit quotes that were said by a reviewer about the person (i.e. in a film review, magazine article)
  • Quotes should not be malicious and damage the reputation of another person.
  • Quotes about sexual orientation, gender identity or religious affiliations, especially without appropriate context, are not eligible.
  • Don't include quote marks, unless the quote itself contains a quotation
  • Non-English language quotes are not eligible
  • Include context - if the quote is referring to a title or a person, include this at the start of the quote in square brackets.

  • Printed Publicity: Articles    

    The printed publicity sections are for print media only. Online publications should instead be sent to the external links section. (Please note that this section is independent of the "news articles" link; those articles come only from our various news suppliers, and cannot be added to by contributors.)

  • An article is something that appears in a magazine or journal and does not fit the definition of an interview or pictorial, while still focusing primarily on a person and not, say, a specific film. (Articles focusing on particular films/programs should instead go to the literature list.)
  • You must identify the specific issue using the Date of release or Volume/Issue (preferably both).
  • Where possible please include the page number(s). Please use the following page format:
    1-11
    1-2, 11-12
    1-2, 5, 7-11.
  • A list of the publications currently being used can be displayed by clicking on the gray list icon ( ) next to the publication field.

  • Printed Publicity: Cover Photos    

  • Cover photos are those that occupy a substantial portion of the cover and where the person is identifiable (i.e., not a tiny face in a crowd shot).
  • Such photos are often, but not always, shot specifically for the cover in question.
  • You must identify the specific issue using the Date of release or Volume/Issue (preferably both).
  • A list of the publications currently being used can be displayed by clicking on the gray list icon ( ) next to the publication field.

  • Printed Publicity: Interviews    

  • An interview is something that appears in a magazine or journal and consists primarily of a conversation with the person in question (or with a panel including the person).
  • It may or may not be presented in a Q&A format, but if not in that form, it should still consist primarily of material directly quoted from the subject(s).
  • If it does not fit this definition, it should be treated as an article instead.
  • You must identify the specific issue using the Date of release or Volume/Issue (preferably both).
  • Where possible please include the page number(s). Please use the following page format:
    1-11
    1-2, 11-12
    1-2, 5, 7-11.
  • A list of the publications currently being used can be displayed by clicking on the gray list icon ( ) next to the publication field.

  • Printed Publicity: Pictorials

  • A pictorial is something that appears in a magazine or journal and consists primarily of photographs of the person in question (or a small group of people including the person).
  • The field author should be used for the name of the photographer. (Note: "Staff" or "Staff photographer" should be entered in the Author field only when explicitly listed in the publication. If no photographer is credited, leave the field blank.)
  • It may include brief captions, and possibly an introductory paragraph or two, but if there is substantial text beyond that, it should be treated as an article instead.
  • You must identify the specific issue using the Date of release or Volume/Issue (preferably both).
  • Where possible please include the page number(s). Please use the following page format:
    1-11
    1-2, 11-12
    1-2, 5, 7-11.
  • A list of the publications currently being used can be displayed by clicking on the gray list icon ( ) next to the publication field.

  • Biographical Books

  • This section is for books primarily about a single person (or closely related group, i.e.,, The Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy), including autobiographies and memoirs. Encyclopedias or collections of interviews should be sent to other sections (article, interview, or bio-trivia).
  • Books written by the person, but not about them, should be treated as other works.
  • Titles should be in mixed (book) capitalization, not all capitals.
  • The author name should be entered in Firstname Lastname format.

  • Biographical Titles

  • A biographical title is any production of a biographical nature regarding a person.
  • The title should be focused on the person; if the person is not the focus of the title, then you should instead mark them as portrayed in the title.

  • Titles: Portrayed-In  

  • A title in which the person is portrayed by another person.
  • The person's life should not be the central focus of the film; if it is, then use biographical title instead.

  • Other Works

  • The "other works" section is for works in media not currently listed elsewhere in the database. Examples include commercials, radio, theater, books, music videos and audio recordings. Please do not send anything to this section that can be included in the regular database listings.
  • Note: Autobiographies and memoirs should be submitted to "Books About This Person", not this section.
  • Important: Submissions with no date will be rejected.
  • An entry must begin with a date in parentheses, what type of work it is, the title of the work, in what way was the name involved, and the location (if known). Examples:
    (2011) Music video for the band Heavy Rabbit - Director
    
    (June 2009) TV commercial for Whizzo Chocolates - Director
    
    (3 July 2008-5 August 2008) Stage play: Hamlet - playing Guildenstern, at Random Theatre, Anytown, USA
  • Please submit books in the following format:
    (Year) Book: "Book Title". City of publication (if known): Publisher. ISBN 0246813579
    Example:
    (2011) Book: "The Art of Cinema". New York: Random House. ISBN 0000111000
  • Titles should not be sent in all capital letters.
  • Each item should be a single work. If you have more than one "other work" to add, then send them as multiple items.
  • Remember that you are writing for an international audience. Please include enough context; for example, commercials should include the type of product, not just the brand name (i.e., Whizzo chocolates; Big Kahuna hamburgers). Also, avoid abbreviations, particularly for place names.
  • Guest appearances should be sent to the cast section for the relevant episode, not "other works".
  • Awards are not considered "other works". If the award is for film or TV work, it should be sent to the awards section; other awards (i.e.., Tony, Grammy) can be sent as biographical trivia.

  • Trademark

    Descriptions of a person's recognizable trait, usually something repeated over a significant proportion of their films, or distinguishing information that sets them apart from most other people in the industry. Physical attributes are acceptable as long as they are unique ? ie tattoos, scars, birthmarks etc. Items such as eye/hair color (unless it is unique) or vague physical descriptions ? ie curvy figure, muscular figure (unless they are known for bodybuilding etc) are not acceptable trademarks.

  • When submitting a trademark that repeats over a significant proportion of their films, please also mention the films the trademark applies to.
  • A director trademark can be followed by a shorthand form of the trademark in square brackets. This is cross-referenced to the corresponding trivia list DIRTRADE entries.

  • Creating Links

    If you mention a person or a title (movie, TV series / episode) that is also listed on IMDb, you must use the [link=title number or person number] notation to automatically create a hyperlink to the relevant page. (Please do not use any HTML coding - it won't work.)

  • People: Start with [link=, followed by the nconst]. You can retrieve the person number, also known as the nconst, from the URL of a person's page. For example:
  • [link=nm0000288] becomes Christian Bale
  • Titles: Start with [link=, followed by the tconst]. You can retrieve the title number, also known as the tconst, from the URL of the title's page. For example:
    [link=tt0076759] becomes Star Wars
    
  • Please click on this link for a more detailed explanation of the [link=title number or person number] notation.

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