Herek branched out on his own with his feature writing-directing debut, the crafty low-budget sci-fi thriller Critters. The 1986 hit bred two successful sequels, earned a Fantasporto International Fantasy Film Award nomination and became one of the most financially successful independent productions of the 1980s.
Herek's next feature, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, also won a Fantasporto International Fantasy Film Award nomination. The box-office office smash time-travel comedy starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter went on to influence a generation of moviegoers with its unique idiomatic vocabulary.
He followed that triumph with the outlandish parody Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, before embarking on a lengthy association with Walt Disney Studios. His first Disney project was yet another box office hit The Mighty Ducks the rousing sports comedy starring Emilio Estevez that spawned an NHL hockey team and another Disney franchise that resulted in two accomplished sequels.
Herek next cast Estevez's brother, Charlie Sheen, alongside Chris O'Donnell, Oliver Platt and Kiefer Sutherland in the Dumas classic The Three Musketeers. It was followed by the moving drama Mr. Holland's Opus, which grossed more than $80 million and earned Richard Dreyfuss Oscar and Golden Globe nominations as Best Actor. Herek collected a nomination as Outstanding Director from the Family Film Awards and the film won a Christopher Award for affirming the highest values of the human spirit.
Herek's next big screen venture proved to be his most popular and successful -- the lively, live-action remake of the Disney animated classic 101 Dalmatians, which collected $136 million at the box office and earned star Glenn Close (as the deliciously villainous Cruella DeVil) a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress.
Herek continued directing an eclectic mix of films which included the Eddie Murphy comedy Holy Man, the musical-drama Rock Star starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston, and the romantic comedy Life or Something Like It toplining Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns. His television work includes the recent series Young MacGyver and the 1989 NBC telefilm The Gifted One. Since his auspicious 1986 debut behind the camera, Herek's films have grossed a combined total of more than $1 billion.
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Stephen Herek Facts
|Birthday||November 10, 1958 (59)|
|Birthplace||San Antonio, Texas, USA|