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Peter Weir

Australian director Peter Weir is renowned for such films as Gallipoli, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Year of Living Dangerously, Witness, Dead Poets Society and The Truman Show.

Weir received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director in 1999 for The Truman Show, which starred Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, the unwitting star of the longest-running, most popular documentary-soap opera in history. Ed Harris (Best Actor in a Supporting Role) and Andrew Niccol (Best Screenplay written directly for the screen) received Academy Award nominations for their work on the critically acclaimed film, which also earned six Golden Globe nominations, including a Best Director nomination for Weir, and a Golden Globe win for Jim Carrey, as Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama. In addition, Weir was honored by BAFTA with the David Lean Award for Direction for the film.

In 1991, Weir received an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay of his romantic comedy Green Card, which starred French actor Gerard Depardieu (in his first English-speaking role) and Andie MacDowell. Weir's previous film, Dead Poets Society, a character drama starring Robin Williams as a joyously eccentric English teacher who inspires his students, earned the director an Academy Award nomination for Best Director as well as the prestigious BAFTA Award for Best Picture and Italy's Donatello Award for Best Direction.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Weir began his moviemaking career with three prize-winning short films before directing The Cars That Ate Paris, an offbeat comedy-horror film based on his own short story. His first international motion picture success came in 1975 with Picnic at Hanging Rock, which brought him widespread attention and became the most successful Australian film of the 1970s.

In 1977, Weir directed The Last Wave, starring Richard Chamberlain as a lawyer haunted by recurring dreams. He then wrote and directed The Plumber (1978), an unusual black comedy made for television that won the Australian Sammy Award for best writer-television plays and best television play.

Weir's next film, Gallipoli, the story of two Australian youths caught up in the idealistic fervor of World War I, swept the Australian Film Institute Awards and became a worldwide box office success. In 1983, Weir reunited with his Gallipoli star Mel Gibson for The Year of Living Dangerously, which starred Gibson, Linda Hunt and Sigourney Weaver. Hunt won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her memorable work in the film.

In 1985, Weir directed Harrison Ford in Witness, the haunting thriller in which a young Amish boy becomes a witness to murder, sparking a clash of cultures within his community. The film received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and a Best Direction nomination for Weir.

In 1986, Weir directed The Mosquito Coast, again starring Harrison Ford, and in 1993, Fearless, a drama about people's varying reactions to tragedy and loss, which starred Jeff Bridges, Rosie Perez, Isabella Rossellini and John Turturro.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Peter Weir Facts

Birth Name Peter Lindsay Weir
OccupationDirector, Screenwriter, Producer
BirthdayAugust 21, 1944 (79)
BirthplaceSydney, Australia
Awards2004 BAFTA Awards: David Lean Award for Direction (for Master and Commander)
1999 BAFTA Awards: David Lean Award for Direction (for The Truman Show)

Selected Filmography

The Truman Show
Dead Poets Society
The Way Back
Green Card
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