- Chris Columbus (filmmaker)
Chris Columbus Born Christopher Joseph Columbus
September 10, 1958
Spangler, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Screenwriter, producer, director Years active 1984–present Spouse Monica Devereux (1983–present)
Christopher Joseph "Chris" Columbus (born September 10, 1958) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Columbus had his largest success with the first two films in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, along with Home Alone, the last receiving a British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Film.
Columbus was born in Spangler, Pennsylvania and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of Mary Irene (née Puskar), a factory worker, and Alex Michael Columbus, an aluminum plant worker and coal miner. Columbus is of Italian and Czech descent. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio and from New York University's film school at the Tisch School of the Arts. There he was a schoolmate of Charlie Kaufman.
Columbus worked as a screenwriter with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, working on Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). He wrote the first episodes of the animated series Galaxy High (1986) and later made his directorial debut with the teen comedy Adventures in Babysitting (1987) and Heartbreak Hotel (1988).
His directorial work includes Home Alone (1990), Only the Lonely (1991), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Nine Months (1995), Stepmom (1998), Bicentennial Man (1999), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Rent (2005), I Love You Beth Cooper (2009) and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010).
Success and criticism
The character types preferred by Columbus are the everyday American men, women and children who struggle to uphold family traditions against a changing, sometimes intimidating society. In 1993 he said: "I can understand the validity of showing people the ugliness of the world, but I also think there is a place for movies to leave people with a sense of hope. If your film isn't going to do that, I just don't think it's worth making."
Columbus married Monica Devereux in 1983, with whom he had four children: Eleanor, Violet, Brendan, and Isabella. Brendan is friends with Timothy Taylor who studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Columbus lives in San Francisco's Pacific Heights, where his children attend or previously attended Saint Ignatius College Preparatory. He donated money to the school for a new building, which is named after him.
Many of Columbus's family members—including his children, his wife, his father-in-law and his cousin Robert Ayres—have appeared in cameo roles in his films.
Year Title Writer Producer Director 1984 Reckless ✓ Gremlins ✓ 1985 The Goonies ✓ Young Sherlock Holmes ✓ 1986 Galaxy High ✓ 1987 Adventures in Babysitting ✓ 1988 Heartbreak Hotel ✓ ✓ 1989 Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland ✓ 1990 Home Alone ✓ 1991 Only the Lonely ✓ ✓ 1992 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York ✓ 1993 Mrs. Doubtfire ✓ 1995 Nine Months ✓ ✓ ✓ 1996 Jingle All the Way ✓ 1998 Stepmom ✓ ✓ 1999 Bicentennial Man ✓ ✓ 2001 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ✓ ✓ 2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ✓ ✓ 2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ✓ Christmas with the Kranks ✓ ✓ 2005 Fantastic Four ✓ Rent ✓ ✓ 2006 Night at the Museum ✓ 2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ✓ 2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian ✓ I Love You, Beth Cooper ✓ ✓ 2010 Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief ✓ ✓ 2011 The Help ✓
- ^ In the Matter of CERTAIN PRODUCTS WITH GREMLINS CHARACTER DEPICTIONS
- ^ a b c Wazir, Burhan (2001-10-28). "Hogwarts and all". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2001/oct/28/comment.features. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
- ^ Filmreference Biography
- ^ Europa Publications (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. Routledge. pp. 346. ISBN 1857432177.
- ^ Janusonis, Michael (1993-11-28). "Chris Columbus discovers a new joy in directing 'Mrs. Doubtfire'". Providence Journal. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/projo/access/577176181.html?dids=577176181:577176181&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Nov+28%2C+1993&author=MICHAEL+JANUSONIS+Journal-Bulletin+Arts+Writer&pub=The+Providence+Journal&desc=Chris+Columbus+discovers+a+new+joy+in+directing+'Mrs.+Doubtfire'&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
- ^ Box Office Prophets
- Chris Columbus at the Internet Movie Database
- BBC Movies article about Chris Columbus
- Chris Columbus biography from The New York Times
- Elementary, My Dear Potter – Young Sherlock Holmes / Harry Potter article
Harry Potter film director
Films directed by Chris Columbus 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010sPercy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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