Fast Facts

  • Worked in the 20th Century Fox mailroom after dropping out of high school.
  • Made his feature directorial debut in 1973 with the low-budget monster-movie spoof Schlock.
  • During filming of his segment of the 1983 sci-fi anthology Twilight Zone—The Movie, star Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed when a special-effects explosion caused a helicopter to crash.
  • Directed the groundbreaking 14-minute video for Michael Jackson's "Thriller" in 1983.
  • Won a Cable ACE award in 1992 as an executive producer of the HBO comedy series Dream On.
  • Was made a Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1985; and received the Federico Fellini Prize from Italy's Rimini Cinema in the late '90s.
  • Directed and served as an executive producer on 2007 's Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project; the two friends first met while working on Kelly's Heroes (1970).


  • 2008, Emmy — Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Winner


  • Marshall David Landis — Father
  • Rachel Landis — Daughter
  • Max Landis — Son
  • Deborah Nadoolman — Wife
  • Shirley Landis — Mother


  • Birth Name: John David Landis
  • Birth Place: Chicago, IL
  • Profession: Director, Producer, Writer

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