Born: 31 October 1961
Birthplace: Pukerua Bay, New Zealand
Best known as: The director of the Lord of the Rings movies
Peter Jackson is the New Zealand filmmaker who directed the three films based on author J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy trilogy known as The Lord of the Rings. Jackson began making movies in the late 1980s and quickly made a reputation as a director of schlocky but inventive horror comedies, including Bad Taste (1987), Brain Dead (1992) and Meet the Feebles (1989). After making two movies that were more mainstream (1994's Heavenly Creatures and 1996's The Frighteners), Jackson embarked on the ambitious project of filming Tolkien's famous books, making three epic films simultaneously. When The Fellowship of the Ring was released in 2001, it was clear Jackson had hit one out of the park. The second film, The Two Towers (2002), was equally successful, and the third film, The Return of the King (2003), won eleven Oscars and helped secure Jackson's place in cinema history. Jackson himself won three Oscars for the film, for best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay. In 2005 he followed up with King Kong, a remake of the 1933 giant-ape classic, and turned his attention to producing films from his studio in New Zealand. He produced the 2009 sci-fi satire District 9 and produced and directed the film The Lovely Bones (2009, starring Mark Wahlberg). Two more films directed by Jackson, based on Tolkien's book The Hobbit, are due out in 2012 and 2013.
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