Gale Anne Hurd
Birth Date:
October 25, 1955
Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California, USA
5' 4" (1.63 m)
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Gale Anne Hurd_190312
Producer of The Terminator


“I'm just attracted to the action element of science fiction. It's great to sit in the editing room with the director and sound engineers and to create the feeling where your heart is racing and you're sitting at the edge of your seat and you find yourself holding your breath.” Gale Anne Hurd

Getting her start as Roger Corman's assistant at New World Pictures, Gale Anne Hurd continued to make a name for herself as producer of many box office films, including “The Terminator” (1984), where she shared a Saturn Award for her writing efforts, “Aliens” (1986), “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991), “The Relic” (1997), “Armageddon” (1998), “Hulk” (2003) and “The Punisher” (2004). She jointly picked up an Independent Spirit Award for the acclaimed indie flick “The Waterdance” (1992). On the small screen, Hurd is known as the executive producer of the syndicated series “Adventure Inc.” (2002-2003) and the AMC post-apocalyptic horror series “The Walking Dead” (2010-?). The Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University won the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films President's Award twice in 1993 and 2004. She was handed the Enzian Award for creative achievement at the 1994 Florida Film Festival and the Women in Film Crystal Award in 1998. In 2003, she received the National Board of Review Producers Award and the World Stunt Action Movie Producer Award.    

Hurd is a great fan of Arsenal FC. She is a close friend of Martha Coolidge and often visits Coolidge's ranch for horse riding. Hurd enjoys scuba diving and she established two live-aboard dive boat businesses in Micronesia called the Truk Aggressor and the Palau Aggressor. She has a yacht named Double Feature. Currently married to screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh, Hurd previously wed  top names James Cameron (together from 1985 to 1991) and Brian De Palma (together from 1991 to 1993), with whom she has one child.

L.A. Girl

Childhood and Family:

An only child, Gale Anne Hurd was born on October 25, 1955, in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Frank E. Hurd, was a Jewish investor, while her mother, Lolita (née Espiau), was Roman Catholic. She was raised in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California. Gale attended Palm Springs High School in Palm Springs, California and Stanford University in Stanford, California, from which she earned a B.A. in Economic and Communications. While in college, she became a member of A Phi Beta Kappa.  

In 1985, Gale married co-worker James Cameron, but they later divorced in 1989. She went on to marry the Newark, New Jersey born director and writer Brian De Palma on July 20, 1991. Their daughter Lolita De Palma was born on September 19, 1991 in Palo Alto, California. The couple separated in September 1992 and eventually divorced in 1993. Gale married present husband Jonathan Hensleigh on June 19, 1995.  

The Waterdance


After college graduation in 1977, Gale Anne Hurd received offer from a former professor to work for Roger Corman at New World Pictures. She began as an executive assistant to Corman, the company president, and progressed to become the head of marketing and publicity and later as a production executive. In 1980, she served as assistant production manager on “Battle Beyond the Stars” and production assistant on “Humanoids From the Deep” before making her producing debut in director Charles B. Griffith's “Smokey Bites the Dust” (1981), where she credited as co-producer. She left New World Pictures in 1982 and formed her own production firm, Pacific Western Productions.  

Hurd's first success came when she signed on as producer of James Cameron's science fiction/action movie “The Terminator,” which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton. Premiered on October 26, 1984, the film opened at No. 1 at the US box office with $4,020,663, and went on to gross a total of over $78.3 million worldwide. With an original budget of $6.5 million, the film was considered a financial victory. The success of the film helped propel the film career of Cameron and solidify that of Schwarzenegger. As a producer, Hurd had suggested edits to the script and assumed screen writing credit in the film. She jointly nabbed the Saturn Award for Best Writing for her efforts.

Hurd reunited with Cameron for the 1986 science fiction movie “Aliens,” a sequel to the Ridley Scott critically acclaimed and box office hit “Alien” (1979). “Aliens” garnered mostly positive reviews upon its release, and was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Sigourney Weaver), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Score   and Best Sound and two wins for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing and Effects, Sound Effects Editing. Also a commercial success, the film spent four consecutive weeks at No. 1 at the US box office and eventually grossed over $131 million worldwide, $86 million of which from the domestic market. Hurd later shared a DVD Exclusive nomination in the category of Best Audio Commentary (New for DVD) for her work on the film.

Collaborated with Richard Kobritz, Hurd produced “Alien Nation” in 1988, with Graham Baker as director and James Caan, Mandy Patinkin, Terence Stamp and Kevyn Major Howard in the cast. The science fiction movie was a moderate success at the box office and received mixed reviews from critics. A television series version of “Alien Nation” was aired on Fox during 1989-1990, where Hurd served as creative consultant. Still in 1988, she produced the Andrew Fleming directed horror/thriller “Bad Dreams,” which marked the first feature under her production company, No Frills Films. In the following year, Hurd produced Cameron's underwater thriller, “The Abyss,” which won the Academy Award for Best Effects, Visual Effects and also was nominated for the Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography and Best Sound categories.    

After executive producing Ron Underwood's “Tremors” and Richard Benjamin's “Downtown” (both 1990), Hurd did the same duty for the 1991 installment “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” which reunited her with former husband James Cameron. Like its predecessor, the film enjoyed a significant box office and critical success. It was nominated for six Academy Awards and won four categories: Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing, Best Effects, Visual Effects, Best Makeup and Best Sound. 1991 also saw Hurd produce the HBO Emmy Award winning film “Cast a Deadly Spell,” directed by Martin Campbell and starring Fred Ward, David Warner and Julianne Moore, and sign production deal with Universal for two-year, first-look deal in partnership with second husband Brian De Palma. Hurd's first and only collaboration with De Palma, “Raising Cain” (1992), a psychological thriller film starring John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich and Steven Bauer, grossed over $21 million at the box office against a budget of $11 million.   

In 1992, Hurd produced the arty independent “The Waterdance,” which was jointly directed by Neal Jimenez and Michael Steinberg. The film was shown at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival in January, where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic and won the Audience Award  and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and went on to win two Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Feature and Best Screenplay.                 

Next up for Hurd, she produced various films like “No Escape” (1994, directed by Marin Campbell), “Witch Hunt” (1994, TV), “Safe Passage” (1994, directed by Robert Allan Ackerman), “The Ghost and the Darkness” (1996, directed by Stephen Hopkins), “The Relic” (1997, helmed by Peter Hyams), “Dante's Peak” (1997, directed by Roger Donaldson), “Switchback” (1997, written amd directed by Jeb Stuart), “Dead Man on Campus” (1998, directed by Alan Cohn), “Dick” (1999, helmed by Andrew Fleming) and “Virus” (1999, directed by visual effects artist John Bruno). She executive produced the HBO biopic “Sugartime” (1995), focusing on the relationship between singer Phyllis McGuire and reputed mob boss Sam Giancana (played by Mary-Louise Parker and John Turturro respectively).

However, Hurd did not have a blockbuster hit until she joined Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer to produce the disaster film “Armageddon” (1998), directed by Bay and written by J. J. Abrams and her third husband, Jonathan Hensleigh. The $140 million produced film grossed $201,578,182 in the United States and Canada and $352,131,606 in foreign markets for a total of $553,709,788 worldwide, making it the highest grossing film of 1998 worldwide. “Armageddon” was nominated for four Academy Awards in the categories of Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Original Song. She, however, was nominated for a Razzie Award in the category of Worst Picture for the film.    

After a few years absence, Hurd returned to the big screen when she served as producer of the science fiction/comedy film “Clockstoppers” (2002), directed by Jonathan Frakes. The same year, she also produced the documentary film “True Whispers,” by Valerie Red-Horse. She was an executive producer of the syndicated series “Adventure Inc.” (2002-2003), starring Michael Biehn, Karen cliché and Jesse Nilsson. In 2003, Hurd produced the superhero film “Hulk,” based on the fictional Marvel Comics character of the same name. Directed by Ang Lee and starring Eric Bana as Dr. Bruce Banner, the film received mixed reviews, but was a commercial success. She also executive produced  the sequel “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” (2003), for director Jonathan Mostow, and the TV films “The Coven” (2004) and “Breadwinners” (2005) as well as produced the hit comic book action film “The Punisher” (2004), the Charlize Theron vehicle “Æon Flux” (2005), which was loosely adapted from the animated science fiction television series of the same name, the Louis Leterrier directed superhero film “The Incredible Hulk” (2008), which received positive reviews from critics, and the failed “Punisher: War Zone” (2008).

2009-2011 found Hurd working as producer or executive producer on television projects  like the British documentary “The Pirate Code: Real Pirates,” “The Wronged Man,” a Lifetime biopic directed by Tom McLoughlin and starring Julia Ormond, Mahershala Ali and Lisa Arrindell Anderson, and “Last Man Standing,” helmed by Ernest R. Dickerson. She also produced the documentary film “Choctaw Code Talkers” (2010).  

Hurd is an executive producer of the post-apocalyptic horror television series “The Walking Dead,” which debuted on AMC on October 31, 2010. She is also the executive producer of the upcoming UK drama film “Very Good Girls” (2013), from director/writer Naomi Foner. The film will star Elizabeth Olsen, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard.     

A lot of producers now are people who stay in their office and never go to the set. I don't know how you can be the advocate of the movie if you're not there in it every day.” Gale Anne Hurd     


Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: President's Award, 2004
National Board of Review: Producers Award, 2003
World Stunt: Action Movie Producer Award, 2003
Women in Film Crystal : Crystal Award, 1998
Florida Film Festival: Enzian Award, For creative achievement, 1994
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: President's Award, 1993
Independent Spirit : Best First Feature, “The Waterdance,” 1993
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn Award, Best Writing, “The Terminator,” 1985 Show Less
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