Robert Zemeckis

Director, Producer, Screenwriter
With a flair for special effects and an impressive track record for eliciting strong performances, director Robert Zemeckis emerged from the University of Southern California's film school to become a potent filmmaking ... Read more »
Born: 05/14/1952 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Producer (117)

The Walk 2015 (Movie)

(Producer)

Bound by Flesh 2014 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Flight 2012 (Movie)

(Producer)

Mars Needs Moms 2011 (Movie)

(Producer)

Real Steel 2011 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Behind the Burly Q 2010 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Disney's A Christmas Carol 2009 (Movie)

(Producer)

Beowulf 2007 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Reaping 2007 (Movie)

(Producer)

Last Holiday 2006 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Monster House 2006 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

House of Wax 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Polar Express 2004 (Movie)

(Producer)

Gothika 2003 (Movie)

(Producer)

Matchstick Men 2003 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Ghost Ship 2002 (Movie)

(Producer)

Thirteen Ghosts 2001 (Movie)

(Producer)

Cast Away 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

What Lies Beneath 2000 (Movie)

(Producer)

The House on Haunted Hill 1999 (Movie)

(Producer)

Perversions of Science 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Contact 1997 (Movie)

(Producer)

Secrets of the Cryptkeeper's Haunted House 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

A Fatal Caper 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

A Slight Case of Murder 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

About Face 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Bordello of Blood 1996 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Cold War 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Ear Today... Gone Tomorrow 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Escape 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Horror in the Night 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Last Respects 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Report from the Grave 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Smoke Wrings 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Tales From the Cryptkeeper 1993 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Frighteners 1996 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Kidnapper 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Third Pig 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

W.E.I.R.D. World 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

99 and 44/100% Pure Horror! 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Comes the Dawn 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Doctor of Horror 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

In the Groove 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Staired in Horror 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Tales From the Crypt Presents Demon Knight 1995 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Assassin 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Came the Dawn 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Creep Course 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Death of Some Salesmen 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Forever Ambergris 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Half Way Horrible 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

House of Horror 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

People Who Live in Brass Hearses 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Till Death Do We Part 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Two For the Show 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Well-Cooked Hams 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Curiosity Killed 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Strung Along 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Werewolf Concerto 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Beauty Rest 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Death Becomes Her 1992 (Movie)

(Producer)

Maniac at Large 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

On a Dead Man's Chest 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Seance 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Showdown 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Split Personality 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The New Arrival 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Public Eye 1992 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

This'll Kill Ya 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Trespass 1992 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Two-Fisted Tales 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Abra Cadaver 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Carrion Death 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Dead Wait 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Deadline 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Easel Kill 'Ya 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Loved to Death 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Mournin' Mess 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

None But the Lonely Heart 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Split Second 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Reluctant Vampire 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Trap 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Top Billing 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Undertaking Palor 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

'Til Death 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Cutting Cards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Dead Right 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Fitting Punishment 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

For Cryin' Out Loud 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Four-Sided Triangle 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Judy, You're Not Yourself Today 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Korman's Kalamity 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Lower Berth 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Mute Witness to Murder 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

My Brother's Keeper 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Television Terror 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Sacrifice 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Secret 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Switch 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Thing From the Grave 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Ventriloquist's Dummy 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Three's a Crowd 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Collection Completed 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone! 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Lover Come Hack to Me 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Only Sin Deep 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Man Who Was Death 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Airman (Movie)

(Producer)

As Ye Sow (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Calling All Robots (Movie)

(Producer)

Confession (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Food For Thought (TV Show)

Executive Producer

King of the Road (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Oil's Well That Ends Well (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Spoiled (TV Show)

Executive Producer

What's Cookin'? (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Director (22)

The Walk 2015 (Movie)

(Director)

Flight 2012 (Movie)

(Director)

Disney's A Christmas Carol 2009 (Movie)

(Director)

Beowulf 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

The Polar Express 2004 (Movie)

(Director)

Cast Away 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

What Lies Beneath 2000 (Movie)

(Director)

Contact 1997 (Movie)

(Director)

You, Murderer 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Director

Forrest Gump 1994 (Movie)

(Director)

Johnny Bago 1990 - 1993 (Tv Show)

Director

Death Becomes Her 1992 (Movie)

(Director)

Yellow 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Director

Back to the Future III 1990 (Movie)

(Director)

And All Through the House 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Director

Back to the Future II 1989 (Movie)

(Director)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit 1988 (Movie)

(Director)

Back to the Future 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Romancing the Stone 1984 (Movie)

(Director)

Used Cars 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

I Wanna Hold Your Hand 1978 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (15)

The Walk 2015 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Disney's A Christmas Carol 2009 (Movie)

(adaptation) (Screenplay)

The Polar Express 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bordello of Blood 1996 (Movie)

(From Story)

Trespass 1992 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Back to the Future III 1990 (Movie)

(From Story)

Back to the Future III 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Back to the Future II 1989 (Movie)

from character (Characters as Source Material)

Back to the Future II 1989 (Movie)

(From Story)

Back to the Future 1985 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Used Cars 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Story By

Used Cars 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

1941 1979 (Movie)

(From Story)

1941 1979 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

I Wanna Hold Your Hand 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Actor (14)

Back In Time 2015 (Movie)

(Himself)

The Directors 1998 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

The Inside Reel: Digital Filmmaking 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Steven Spielberg: An Empire of Dreams 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 68th Annual Academy Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

American Cinema 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Parker Lewis 1990 - 1991 (Tv Show)

Actor

Premiere Presents: Christmas Movies '89 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Firstworks 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Roger Rabbit & the Secrets of Toontown 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor
Visual Effects & Animation (1)

Back to the Future 1991 - 1993 (TV Show)

Special Effects

Biography

With a flair for special effects and an impressive track record for eliciting strong performances, director Robert Zemeckis emerged from the University of Southern California's film school to become a potent filmmaking force in Hollywood. Though his first professional job was writing the script for Steven Spielberg's much-maligned World War II comedy "1941" (1979), Zemeckis staked his reputation as a hit maker with his third directing effort, "Romancing the Stone" (1984), which became a surprise box office success despite low expectations. But it was his next film, "Back to the Future" (1985) that cemented his place in Hollywood as a reliable director of both commercially successful and critically acclaimed movies. By this time, he was earning a reputation for pushing the boundaries of technology onscreen, though often with some criticism for focusing too much on visual effects. Still, Zemeckis continued to churn out hits, including the two "Back to the Future" sequels, as well as the animated-live action hybrid "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988). He achieved esteemed status when he won an Academy Award for his exemplary drama, "Forrest Gump" (1994), which, along with "Back to the Future, became a high water mark in his career. Though he slipped a bit with efforts like "Death Becomes Her" (1992), "Contact" (1997) and "What Lies Beneath" (2000), Zemeckis proved time and again with films like "Cast Away" (2000) and the groundbreaking "Polar Express" (2004) that he was capable of tackling challenging material while remaining commercially viable.

Relationships

Leslie Harter Actor

Wife
Eloped Dec. 4, 2001 in Venice, Italy

Mary Ellen Trainor Actor

Wife
Married July 26, 1980 Worked together in several films including "Romancing the Stone" (1984) and "Death Becomes Her" (1992); Trainor also played the police psychiatrist in the "Lethal Weapon" films Separated c. 1997 Divorced in 2000

Alexander Zemeckis Office Production Assistant

Son
Born Dec. 11, 1985; mother, Mary Ellen Trainor

EDUCATION

University of Southern California

Los Angeles , California 1973

Northern Illinois University

De Kalb , Illinois
Transferred after two years

Milestones

2012

Returned to live action features as director and producer of "Flight," a drama starring Denzel Washington

2009

Wrote, directed and produced the animated adaptation of "A Christmas Carol"; Jim Carrey played several roles, including Ebenezer Scrooge

2007

Helmed the big-budget film version of "Beowulf," using the performance-capture technology utilized for "The Polar Express"

2004

Helmed the animated feature "The Polar Express" starring Tom Hanks in several roles

2000

During break from filming "Cast Away," produced and helmed the thriller "What Lies Beneath," starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer; film released before "Cast Away"

2000

Reunited with Tom Hanks as producer and director of "Cast Away"; filmed over a stretch of time in 1999-2000 with a break for Hanks to lose weight

1999

Made "Robert Zemeckis on Smoking, Drinking and Drugging in the 20th Century: In Pursuit of Happiness" for Showtime

1998

Served as a producer on the remake of "The House on Haunted Hill"

1997

Helmed the screen adaptation of Carl Sagan's book "Contact"; also produced

1995

Was one of the executive producers of the feature "Tales From the Crypt Presents Demon Knight"

1994

Directed box office hit "Forest Gump," starring Tom Hanks; film won eight Academy Awards, including Best Director

1993

Produced first network TV series, "Johnny Bago," a CBS adventure-comedy series

1993

Created and produced "Tales from the Cryptkeeper," an ABC animated series

1992

Feature debut as executive producer, "The Public Eye"

1992

Directed the black comedy "Death Becomes Her," featuring Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn

1992

Scripted and executive produced "Trespass," helmed by Walter Hill

1991

TV acting debut, "Parker Lewis Can't Lose!," a Fox sitcom that featured his then-wife Mary Ellen Trainor

1989

TV producing debut as one of the co-executive producers of "Tales From the Crypt," an HBO horror anthology series

1989

Helmed the sequels "Back to the Future II" (1989) and "Back to the Future III" (1990) back to back

1988

Directed the live-action and animated combination "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

1986

TV directing debut, "Go to the Head of the Class," an episode of "Amazing Stories"

1985

With Gale, co-wrote the blockbuster "Back to the Future"; also directed

1984

Enjoyed box-office hit as director of the adventure love story "Romancing the Stone"

1980

Helmed the comedy "Used Cars"

1979

Co-wrote with Gale "1941," a sprawling comedy directed by Steven Spielberg

1978

Feature film directorial debut," I Wanna Hold Your Hand"; also co-wrote script with Gale

1973

Made award-winning 14-minute student film "A Field of Honor"

1972

Directed first "professional" short "The Lift," an 8-minute student film

1970

Met future writing partner Bob Gale at USC

Began making 8mm films in high school

Screened "A Field of Honor" for Steven Spielberg and John Milius, who helped him and Gale get a development deal for an original screenplay that became "1941"

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, IL

Bonus Trivia

.

Some sources listed 1952 as the year of Zemeckis' birth.

.

Zemeckis was the first recipient of the University of Southern California's Mary Pickford Alumni Award in 1995.

.

In October 1998, Zemeckis donated $5 million to USC for the creation of a cutting-edge digital arts studio, named the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts.

.

With deep emotional underpinnings, it ["Forrest Gump"] is not the sort of frenetic comedy that one would expect from Zemeckis. "One of the first conversations we had about this movie," [actor Tom] Hanks recalls, "was that this movie broke all his rules drilled into him to work on basic storytelling levels. There's no jeopardy. There's no clock running. Bob is a master at explaining the illogical, as in the 'Back to the Future' movies, and having them make sense. But this is the opposite. He had to take this emotional story and put it in the trappings of a special effects epic in a way that was so natural, it served the human elements of the story, instead of how he usually works, where it serves the fantastic elements of the story." – from "Reality Bites Back" by David Kronke, The Los Angeles Times, July 3, 1994

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