Date of Birth: 1960
American born, Tom Shadyac moved to L.A. in 1983 to pursue his dream of
working in the film industry. With experience as a stand-up comic, having
appeared regularly at the Improv on Melrose, Shadyac landed a job as a
staff joke writer for comedian Bob Hope.
While in Los Angeles occasionally winning acting roles -- on such series as
Magnum, P.I. and Trapper John, M.D. and in the feature film,
Jocks (1986) -- he worked toward a masters degree from UCLA. During
his time in university he completed an acclaimed short film entitled Tom,
Dick and Harry. Completing his masters in 1989, Shadyac was soon hired
by Fox to help write telefilms like Frankenstein: The College Years --
which he also directed.
The early '90s also saw a friendship bloom between Shadyac and fellow
comedian, Jim Carrey. Working together they wrote the script Ace Ventura:
Pet Detective. A silly detective story surrounding an even more
buffoonish detective, the feature hit theatres in 1994 and viewers couldn't
get enough of it. Making more than $200 million at the box office, Ace
Ventura sent Carrey soaring into stardom and finally opened the doors
to Hollywood for Shadyac.
It took two years for him to release his next feature, The Nutty
Professor (1996) starring Eddie Murphy. The remake of the 1964 classic
fared well at the box office and even garnered a sequel a few years later.
Shadyac then teamed up with Carrey again to make Liar, Liar (1997),
another smash hit with viewers worldwide.
Shadyac finished off the 20th century with the popular film Patch Adams,
starring veteran comedian Robin Williams. Taking a break from comedy, Shadyac took a stab at the thriller Dragonfly (2002), starring Kevin Costner, but the film was a financial and critical failure.
He wisely returned to comedy with Bruce Almighty (2003), starring Jim Carrey. The box office success made almost $250 million at the domestic box office alone.
The Nutty Professor (1996)
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)