Guillermo del Toro

Born: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico | Greatest pop culture contribution: American audiences are still shivering at the nightmarish look of Del Toro's eyes-in-the-palms Pale Man in "Pan's Labyrinth." His "Pacific Rim," where huge robot jaegers battled otherwordly kaiju, helped him bring a childhood dream to life.

Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
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