Date of Birth
Northland Region, New ZealandEdit page
Sir Peter Robert Jackson ONZ KNZM (born 31 October 1961) is a New Zealand film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is best known as the director, writer, and producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003) and the Hobbit trilogy (2012–2014), both of which are adapted from the novels of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien. Other notable films include the critically lauded drama Heavenly Creatures (1994), the horror comedy The Frighteners (1996), the epic monster remake film King Kong (2005), the World War I documentary film They Shall Not Grow Old (2018), and the documentary The Beatles: Get Back (2021). He is the fourth-highest-grossing film director of all-time, his films have made over $6.5 billion worldwide.
Jackson began his career with the "splatstick" horror comedy Bad Taste (1987) and the black comedy Meet the Feebles (1989) before filming the zombie comedy Braindead (1992). He shared a nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay with his partner Fran Walsh for Heavenly Creatures, which brought him to mainstream prominence in the film industry. Jackson has been awarded three Academy Awards for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), including the award for Best Director. His other awards include three BAFTAs, a Golden Globe, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and four Saturn Awards among others.
His production company is WingNut Films, and his most regular collaborators are co-writers and producers Walsh and Philippa Boyens. Jackson was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002. He was later knighted (as a Knight Companion of the order) by Sir Anand Satyanand, the Governor-General of New Zealand, at a ceremony in Wellington in April 2010. In December 2014, Jackson was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Jackson was born on 31 October 1961 in Wellington and was raised in its far northern suburb of Pukerua Bay. His parents – Joan (née Ruck), a factory worker and housewife, and William "Bill" Jackson, a wages clerk – were emigrants from England.
As a child, Jackson was a keen film fan, growing up on Ray Harryhausen films, as well as finding inspiration in the television series Thunderbirds and Monty Python's Flying Circus. After a family friend gave the Jacksons a Super 8 cine camera with Peter in mind, he began making short films with his friends. Jackson has long cited King Kong as his favorite film, and around the age of nine, he attempted to remake it using his own stop-motion models. Also, as a child Jackson made a World War II epic called The Dwarf Patrol seen on the Bad Taste bonus disc, which featured his first special effect of poking pinholes in the film for gunshots, and a James Bond spoof named Goldfinger. Most notable though was a 20-minute short called The Valley, which won him a special prize because of the shots he used.
Jackson attended Kāpiti College, where he expressed no interest in sports. His classmates also remember him wearing a duffel coat with "an obsession verging on religious". He had no formal training in film-making, but learned about editing, special effects, and make-up largely through his own trial and error. As a young adult, Jackson discovered the work of author J. R. R. Tolkien after watching The Lord of the Rings (1978), an animated film by Ralph Bakshi that was a part-adaptation of Tolkien's fantasy trilogy. When he was 16 years old, Jackson left school and began working full-time as a photo engraver for a Wellington newspaper, The Evening Post. For the seven years he worked there, Jackson lived at home with his parents so he could save as much money as possible to spend on film equipment. After two years of work, Jackson bought a 16 mm camera, and began shooting a film that later became Bad Taste.