John Carpenter biography
Date of Birth: January 16, 1948
"In France I'm an auteur; in Germany a filmmaker; in England, UK a genrefilm
director; in USA a bum." - John Carpenter
Hailing from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Carpenter always had a deep interest
in filmmaking and started making short fantasy films at the age of eight.
The son of a music professor, Carpenter attended Western Kentucky
University, only to drop out years later to enrol in film school at the
University of Southern California.
While at film school he made over 12 short films and became acquainted with
Dan O'Bannon. The two received a $1,000 grant to create Dark Star.
The low-budget film was released in 1974 and became a cult hit.
in school, he co-wrote the short film, The Resurrection of Bronco Billy,
which won an Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Live Action).
After completing his education, he started filming his third feature,
Assault on Precinct 13 (1976). Two years later he completed his
first masterpiece, Halloween. Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, the film
was made on a shoestring budget and ended up raking in over $60 million
internationally, becoming the top-grossing independent film of its time.
The film he wrote, directed and scored became a cult classic and spawned
In the early '80s, Carpenter could do no wrong, releasing hit after hit
including Escape from New York, The Thing, Christine,
Starman and Big Trouble In Little China. He continued to
work on all aspects of filmmaking including directing, composing, writing,
producing and even a little bit of acting.
But the success didn't last,
and through the next decade, he created a number of box office flops
including They Live, Memoirs of the Invisible Man and
Village of the Damned.
Continuing to create horror and sci-fi films with his personal flair,
Carpenter completed Vampires in 1998. The film garnered him his
second Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and
Fantasy, for Best Music.
It also won awards for his cast and crew, and
nominated him for a Bram Stoker Award.
Carpenter has been married twice, first to actress Adrienne Barbeau for
five years, then to current wife, producer Sandy King in 1990.
John Carpenter Filmography