More Chris Columbus Bios & Profiles
Biography #2 (for Christmas with the Kranks)Chris Columbus is a major force in contemporary Hollywood filmmaking. From his anarchic, genre-bending 1980s classics Gremlins and The Goonies to the recent blockbuster Harry Potter films, which are among the most successful book-to-screen adaptations of all time.
Columbus was born in Spangler, Pennsylvania and grew up outside of Youngstown, Ohio. As a youngster, he aspired to draw cartoons for Marvel Comics and eventually made the connection between comic books and movie storyboards. In high school, he began making his own homegrown 8mm films and drawing his own storyboards (which he continues to do for his films today). After high school, he enrolled in the Directors Program at New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts.
Columbus first attained success as a screenwriter. While still in college, he sold his first script Jocks, a semi-autobiographical comedy about a Catholic schoolboy who tries out for a football team. After graduating from NYU, Columbus wrote a small town drama entitled Reckless (1984), based on his experiences as a factory worker in Ohio. The film was directed by James Foley and starred Aidan Quinn and Daryl Hannah.
Columbus gained prominence in Hollywood writing several original scripts produced by Steven Spielberg. The back-to-back hits of the Joe Dante-directed Gremlins (1984) and The Goonies (1985), helmed by Richard Donner, were decade-defining films which intertwined high notes of offbeat, edgy, often outrageous humor against more classic adventure-thriller backdrops. He next wrote the fantasy adventure Young Sherlock Holmes, which was directed by Barry Levinson.
These screenwriting achievements led Columbus to directing his first feature, Adventures in Babysitting (1987) starring Elisabeth Shue. A meeting with John Hughes brought Columbus to the helm of Home Alone (1990), the first of three collaborations. Home Alone and its hugely successful follow-up, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), were universal in appeal and launched the career of Macaulay Culkin. Only the Lonely (1991), a bittersweet comedy-drama directed by Columbus from his own screenplay, was praised for featuring one of the late John Candy's best performances, and for the return of legendary star Maureen O'Hara to the screen.
Columbus' smash hit comedy Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) starring Robin Williams and Sally Field, bent genders as well as genres, to great critical and public success. Columbus then directed Nine Months (1995) with Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore, before turning to drama with Stepmom (1998) starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon.
Columbus faced a daunting task when he was called upon to direct Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), the first film version of J.K. Rowling's monumentally successful series of books. With millions of avid and sometimes fanatical readers, both young and old, in a high state of expectations and anticipation, Columbus cast completely inexperienced youngsters Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in the leading roles as Harry Potter and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, and once again demonstrated his facility for nurturing and cultivating young talent by helping to turn them into natural screen performers.
The success of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was followed by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), which once again met with huge box office success. He served as producer on the recent Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
As a director, Columbus will tackle another genre with his screen adaptation of the late Jonathan Larson's hit counter-culture musical Rent for Revolution Studios.
Bio courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment for "Christmas with the Kranks" (01-Jan-2005)
Biography #3Chris Columbus is perhaps best known for directing one of the highest grossing motion picture comedies of all time, Home Alone and its smash hit follow-up Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Recent credits include his direction of last year's heartwarming drama, Stepmom with Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon; his box office hit Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams and Sally Field; the popular comedy Nine Months which he wrote, produced and directed; the Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy Jingle All The Way, which he produced, and Monkeybone starring Brendan Fraser, directed by Henry Selick to be released Thanksgiving 2000 which he is producing.
Columbus was born in Spangler, Pennsylvania and grew up outside of Youngstown, Ohio. As a youngster, he aspired to draw cartoons for Marvel Comics and eventually discovered that comic books resemble the storyboards directors sketch for their movies. In high school he began making 8mm films and drawing his own storyboards (which he continues to do for his films today). After high school, he enrolled in the Directors Program at New York University's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts.
Columbus first attained success as a screenwriter. While still in college he sold his first script, Jocks a semi-autobiographical comedy about a Catholic schoolboy who tries out for the football team.
After graduating from NYU, Columbus wrote a steel town drama called Reckless based on his experiences as a factory worker in Ohio. The film starred Daryl Hannah and Aidan Quinn, and was directed by James Foley.
Columbus gained prominence in Hollywood with a trio of original scripts for Steven Spielberg: the 1984 comedy thriller Gremlins, the 1985 adventure Goonies, and the fantasy Young Sherlock Holmes which was directed by Barry Levinson.
Columbus' screenwriting achievements led to his first two directorial efforts, Adventures In Babysitting and Heartbreak Hotel, which he also wrote.
He continued his affiliation with Spielberg on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade before a meeting with John Hughes led him to his directing assignment on Home Alone, followed by the poignant comedy Only The Lonely from his own screenplay.
Bio courtesy Touchstone (01-Jan-2000)