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Peter Medak

Peter Medak most recently directed TNT's adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, entitled The Hunchback, starring Mandy Patinkin, Richard Harris and Salma Hayek. He also directed Pontiac Moon, Romeo is Bleeding, Let Him Have It, The Krays and The Men 's Club. Medak's additional credits include Zorro the Gay Blade, The Changeling, The Odd Couple, Ghost in the Noonday Sun, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and The Ruling Class.

Medak has also directed his wife, international opera star Julia Migenes, in the operatic films La Mix Humaine and Salome.

His television work includes the PBS miniseries Nabokov, The Twilight Zone for CBS and Homicide for NBC.

Medak was born and raised in Budapest during the second world war. When he was eight, an aunt presented him with a gift of film from the Hungarian Film Studios and a 35mm projector. At that moment, Medak determined he would pursue a career as a director.

During the revolution of 1956, Medak escaped Hungary and fled to England. With the aide of his aunt, he landed a job at a documentary film company in London within two weeks of his arrival. Medak began his forty year career apprenticing as an assistant editor and camera man, and eventually moved up to become an assistant director working with some of the greatest directors of his generation including David Lean, Carrol Reed, Fred Zinneman and Anthony Asquith among others.

In 1963 he moved to Los Angeles to work under contract as a director for Universal Studios, but had to be content observing other directors for several months before being allowed to direct. He first worked as an associate producer and second unit director on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and on such memorable television series as The Virginian, Wagon Train and Arrest and Trial.

A year and a half later, Medak returned to England to associate produce and direct Court­Martial, the first co­production between Universal and Sir Lew Grade. When the studio asked Medak to return to Hollywood, Medak declined and opted to remain in England where he acted as the associate producer and second unit director on the feature films Kaleidoscope, Fathom and Funeral in Berlin, starring Michael Caine. When Caine recommended Medak to Paramount Pictures, the director was again given a studio contract. It was for Paramount that Medak directed his first feature film, Negatives, starring the then unknown Glenda Jackson.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Peter Medak Facts

BirthdayDecember 23, 1937 (86)
BirthplaceBudapest, Hungary
Height6' 1" (1m85)  How tall is Peter Medak compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Telling Me Your Dreams
A Bird in Hand
The Buys
Black Blizzard
By the Pricking of My Thumbs
Species II
7th Heaven: Season 8
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