AKA Robert Lee Zemeckis
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Film Director
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Back To The Future
Robert Zemeckis was born and raised in Chicago, and began making 8mm films while he was in high school. Eventually Steven Spielberg became his mentor, serving as executive producer for Zemeckis's 1978 Beatlemania comedy I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and his salesman comedy Used Cars. Zemeckis also had a hand in writing Spielberg's WWII slapstick paranoia film 1941.
One of Zemeckis' biggest hits, Forrest Gump is often referred to as his masterpiece. Many hearts were warmed by that movie's loving ode to American honesty, generosity, loyalty, and integrity. Some audiences, however, were bored silly by its meandering story of a retard (Tom Hanks) rendered as heroic, with innocence and stupidity presented as America's greatest virtues.
In the 1980s, Zemeckis had success with special effects successes like Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and the adventure Romancing the Stone, followed by relative duds like the Back to the Future sequels, Death Becomes Her, What Lies Beneath, and the five-Hanks CGI Christmas oddity The Polar Express. Cast Away, starring Hanks again (this time opposite a volleyball). Zemeckis has also become a movie producer, mostly known for middle-budget low-imagination efforts like House on Haunted Hill, Thir13en Ghosts, and Halle Berry's bland thriller Gothika.
When Showtime commissioned six big-name directors to make six documentaries about Americana, Zemeckis focused his camera on intoxication and inebriation. His featurette, The Pursuit of Happiness: Smoking, Drinking and Drugging in the 20th Century, was widely taken as pro-marijuana, and is still sold as a fundraiser by groups seeking to legalize the drug.
Wife: Mary Ellen Trainor (actress, div., 1 son)
Son: Alexander Zemeckis
Wife: Leslie Harter (actress, m. 4-Dec-2001)
University: Northern Illinois University (transferred)
University: BFA Film, University of Southern California (1973)
Academy of Achievement (1996)
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Golden Globe Best Director, Forrest Gump 1994
Hollywood Walk of Fame 6925 Hollywood Blvd
Oscar for Best Director 1995 for Forrest Gump
FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
A Christmas Carol (3-Nov-2009)
The Polar Express (21-Oct-2004)
Cast Away (7-Dec-2000)
What Lies Beneath (21-Jul-2000)
Forrest Gump (23-Jun-1994)
Death Becomes Her (31-Jul-1992)
Back to the Future Part III (25-May-1990)
Back to the Future Part II (22-Nov-1989)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (21-Jun-1988)
Back to the Future (3-Jul-1985)
Romancing the Stone (30-Mar-1984)
Used Cars (11-Jul-1980)
I Wanna Hold Your Hand (17-Jul-1979)
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