Best known as the founder and lead guitarist of the chart-busting English rock band Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler has also dedicated himself to an equally successful second career composing film scores. He was a late bloomer who worked as a journalist and a teacher before forming Dire Straits in 1977. Two years later, the band (which included his younger brother David) scored their first hit, "Sultan of Swing," and anonymity was a thing of the past. His restrained, thoughtful songs provided an alternative to punk that was not a retread of some tired style and had the added appeal of his mournful guitar and world-weary voice. The band's third album, "Making Money" (1990), was his most personal, featuring what has become his best-loved song, "Romeo and Juliet," about a failed love affair, but for the most part Knopfler kept the deepest part of himself out of his songwriting, creating fictional characters whose expressions became his biggest songs. After the demise of Dire Straits, he returned to a more personal style for his debut solo album, "Golden Heart" (1996).