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John Landis Biography

Birth Name:
John David Landis
Birth Place:
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Director, producer, writer

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)


  • 2008Emmy-Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special: winner