Guillermo del Toro
Birth Date:
October 9, 1964
Birth Place:
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
5' 10" (1.78 m)
Famous for:
Director of 'Cronos' (1993)
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Pan's Labyrinth


“'Pan’s Labyrinth' is a fairy tale, but it’s not mamby-pamby and goody-goody. Fairy tales have nastier endings than pretty much any category of literature. That’s why I love them! This is a fairy tale, but it is not a movie for children by any stretch.” Guillermo del Toro

Mexican filmmaker and novelist Guillermo del Toro is most famous for directing and writing the acclaimed movies “Hellboy” (2004) and its 2008 sequel “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” and “Pan's Labyrinth” (2006, also a producer), from which he nabbed a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination and various other honors, including a BAFTA Award, a Silver Ariel Award, a Goya Award, an Imagen Award, a Golden Palm nomination and an Independent Spirit nomination. Del Toro worked as a special makeup effects artist for several years before making the successful transformation to feature directing and writing with the high profile horror film “Cronos” (1993), which won eight Ariel Awards (Mexico's equivalent of the Oscars). Del Toro is also known for directing and/or writing “Mimic” (1997), “The Devil's Backbone” (2001) and “Blade II” (2002) and producing many films, including “While She Was Out” (2008), “Don't Be Afraid of the Dark” (2010) and “Biutiful” (2010). Del Toro has frequently cast Ron Perlman, Federico Luppi and Doug Jones in his films. In addition to films, he released the novels “The Strain” (2009) and “The Fall” (2010).

One of EW's “50 Smartest People in Hollywood” (2007), Del Toro has his own production company, the Tequila Gang. He also co-founded the Guadalajara International Film Festival and once had his own special effects makeup company called Necropia. He is good friends with director Robert Rodriguez and friends with fellow successful Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Horror Buff

Childhood and Family:

Guillermo del Toro Gómez was born on October 9, 1964, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and grew up in a strict Roman Catholic household. He became fascinated with the horror genre at a very young age and began experimenting with his Super 8 camera in his formative years. He attended Guadalajara School of Sciences, in which he met his future wife, and the University of Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico. He also studied special effects and makeup at Dick Smith's Advanced Makeup Course.

Guillermo is married to his high school sweetheart Lorenza Newton, the cousin of Mexican singer Guadalupe Pineda. They have two daughters, Marisa and Mariana. The family currently resides in Agoura Hills, California.



Guillermo del Toro wanted to be a filmmaker as a teenager. At age 21, he executive produced his first feature, “Dona Herlinda and Her Son” (1985), a dramatic comedy directed and scripted by Jaime Humberto Hermosillo that starred Guillermina Alba, Guadalupe Del Toro and Letícia Lupercio. The same year, he also made a short film called “Doña Lupe.” He went on to write and direct the nine minute horror “Geometria” (1987) and from 1986 to 1989, directed and wrote several episodes of the Mexican television series “Hora Marcada.”

Despite his early jump into filmmaking, Del Toro spent most of the 1980s and early 1990s working in the makeup department as a special makeup effects artist. He formed his own company, Necropia, in the early 1980s, although it is no longer active. Films he has served as a special makeup effects artist include Arturo Ripstein's “Love Lies” (1989), Alejandro Pelayo's “Morir en el golfo” (1990), Luis Estrada's “Bandits” (1991), Carlos García Agraz's “Mi querido Tom Mix” (1992) and Paul Leduc's “Dollar Mambo” (1995).

In 1993, Del Toro made his feature directorial and writing debut with “Cronos,” starring veteran Argentine actor Federico Luppi and American actor Ron Perlman, the first of several films in which the three have worked together. The horror film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1993 and at the Toronto Film Festival on September 2, 1993, before receiving a limited release in North America in March 1994. “Cronos” was well received by critics and Del Toro took home an Ariel de Oro (Golden Ariel), Silver Ariels for Best First Work, Best Direction, Best Original Story and Best Screenplay, a Mercedes-Benz Award at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, a DICINE Award at the 1993 Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival, a Coral at the 1993 Havana Film Festival, a Best Screenplay Award and a nomination for Best Film at the 1993 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival, a Silver Raven at the 1994 Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film, and the Audience Jury Award and International Fantasy Film Award for Best Film at the 1994 Fantasporto, to name a few honors.

After the promising debut, Del Toro released the movie “Mimic” (1997), which he directed and wrote and based on the script of a short story by Donald A. Wollheim. Starring Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Giancarlo Giannini, Josh Brolin, Charles S. Dutton and F. Murray Abraham, the film was not a box office success. However, for his work on “Mimic,” Del Toro received a 1997 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival for Best Film, a 1998 ALMA nomination for Outstanding Latino Director of a Feature Film and a 1998 Saturn nomination for Best Writer, which he shared with Matthew Robbins. In 1998, Del Toro also produced the Mexican movie “Un embrujo,” by director Carlos Carrera. The film was nominated for eighteen Ariel Awards and won nine.

Following the kidnapping of his father, Federico del Toro, in Mexico in 1997, Del Toro was quiet for a few years and did not resurface until he directed, co-wrote (with Antonio Trashorras and David Muñoz) and executive produced the critically acclaimed thriller “The Devil's Backbone” (2001), starring Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes and Federico Luppi, his second collaboration with Luppi. Set in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, the film received primarily favorable reviews from critics and was nominated for a Saturn for Best Horror Film and an ALMA for Outstanding Foreign Film and Del Toro earned a Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver at the 2002 Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival, an International Critics Award, a Special Jury Prize and a Youth Jury Grand Prize at the 2002 Gérardmer Film Festivalfor his work.

The next year, Del Toro returned to the director's chair to direct Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson and Ron Perlman in “Blade II,” a sequel to the successful 1998 vampire action movie “Blade,” which was directed by Stephen Norrington. It received mixed reviews from critics but performed well at the box office. “Blade II” was nominated for a 2003 Saturn for Best Horror Film and won an ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films. Del Toro nabbed MTV Movie Latin America's MTV North Feed for Best Mexican Working in a Foreign Movie (Mejor Fuga de Talento Mexicano al Extranjero) for his work on “Blade II” and “The Devil's Backbone.” Also in 2002, Del Toro executive produced “I Murder Seriously,” for director Antonio Urrutia.

In 2004, Del Toro wrote and directed “Hellboy,” a well received superhero movie starring Ron Perlman, John Hurt and Selma Blair. Adapted from the comic book “Hellboy: Seed of Destruction” by Mike Mignola, the film received favorable reviews from critics and grossed $99,318,987 million worldwide, well surpassing its $66 million budget. The film brought him an Imagen Award for Best Director - Feature Film and a Bram Stoker nomination for Best Screenplay. The same year, he also produced “Chronicles,” a thriller written and directed by Sebastián Cordero.

Del Toro enjoyed even more recognition when he directed, wrote and produced the fantasy film “Pan's Labyrinth” (2006). The film earned universal praise and was chosen by the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences to represent the country in the 2007 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. “Pan's Labyrinth” won Oscars for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Makeup and was nominated for Best Original Score, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Screenplay. Adding to his Oscar nomination, Del Toro also picked up a BAFTA Film for Best Film not in the English Language and a BAFTA nomination for Best Screenplay - Original, Saturn nominations for Best Director and Best Writing, a Silver Condor for Best Foreign Film, a Spanish Language at the 2008 Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards, a Silver Ariel for Best Direction, and an Austin Film Critics for Best Screenplay, Original, to name just a few awards and nominations. “Pan's Labyrinth” grossed over $83 million worldwide against a budget of $19 million.

After producing such films as Juan Antonio Bayona's acclaimed film “The Orphanage” (2007), Susan Montford's “While She Was Out” (2008, starred Kim Basinger and Lukas Haas), “Rude and Tack” (2008), a Mexican movie starring Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal and Guillermo Francella and Andrea Martinez's “Insignificant Things” (2008), Del Toro returned to directing and writing with the sequel “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (2008), which again starred Ron Perlman and Selma Blair. It received primarily positive reviews from critics and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Makeup and won a Saturn for Best Horror Film.

Next up for Del Toro, he lent his producing talents to such films as “Rage” (2009), “Splice” (2009), “Mother and Child” (2009), Alejandro González Iñárritu's “Biutiful” (2010), “Julia's Eyes” (2010) and Troy Nixey's thriller “Don't Be Afraid of the Dark” (2010), which he co-scripted with Matthew Robbins. He also served as an executive producer on “Kung Fu Panda 2,” which is slated to be released in May 2011, Chris Miller's “Puss in Boots,” which is set to be released in theaters November 4, 2011, and “The Ring 3D” (2012), “Rise of the Guardians” (2011) and “Pinocchio” (2011).

Del Toro is scheduled to direct and write the upcoming horror film “Frankenstein” (2012), which will star Doug Jones as The Creature. In addition, he will direct Tom Cruise and Ron Perlman in the film “At the Mountains of Madness” (2013), which is based on a H.P. Lovecraft novel.

Del Toro is also a novelist. He released his first novel, “The Strain,” which he co-authored with Chuck Hogan, on June 2, 2009. “The Strain” is the first part of a vampire trilogy and the second book, “The Fall,” was launched on September 21, 2010.


  • Fangoria Chainsaw: 2nd place, Chainsaw Award, Best Screenplay, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” 2009

  • Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: George Pal Memorial Award, 2008

  • Argentinean Film Critics Association: Silver Condor, Best Foreign Film, Spanish Language (Mejor Película Iberoamericana), “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2008

  • Bodil: Best Non-American Film (Bedste ikke-amerikanske film), “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2008

  • Empire: Inspiration Award, 2008

  • Ariel: Silver Ariel, Best Direction (Mejor Dirección), “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Austin Film Critics Association: Austin Film Critics Award, Best Screenplay, Original, “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • BAFTA: Best Film not in the English Language, “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Fantasporto: International Fantasy Film Award, Best Film, “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Fotogramas de Plata: Best Film (Mejor Película Española), “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Goya: Best Screenplay - Original (Mejor Guión Original), “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Imagen Foundation: Imagen Award, Best Director - Film, “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Online Film Critics Society (OFCS): Best Screenplay, Original, “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Palm Springs International Film Festival: FIPRESCI Prize, “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Premio ACE: Cinema - Best Film, “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Sant Jordi: Best Film (Mejor Película Española), “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Turia: Audience Award, Best Spanish Film, “Pan's Labyrinth,” 2007

  • Gotham: World Cinema Tribute Award, 2006

  • ShoWest Convention: ShoWest Award, International Achievement in Filmmaking, 2006

  • Imagen Foundation: Creative Achievement Award, 2004

  • Imagen Foundation: Imagen Award, Best Director - Feature Film, “Hellboy,” 2004

  • Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival: Grand Prize of European Fantasy Film in Silver, “The Devil's Backbone,” 2002

  • Gérardmer Film Festival: International Critics Award, “The Devil's Backbone,” 2002

  • Gérardmer Film Festival: Special Jury Prize, “The Devil's Backbone,” 2002

  • Gérardmer Film Festival: Youth Jury Grand Prize, “The Devil's Backbone,” 2002

  • MTV Movie: MTV North Feed (mostly Mexico) - Best Mexican Working in a Foreign Movie (Mejor Fuga de Talento Mexicano al Extranjero), “The Devil's Backbone” (2001) and “Blade II” (2002), 2002

  • Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival: Time-Machine Honorary Award, 2002

  • Fantafestival: Best Direction, “Cronos,” 1995

  • Premio ACE: Cinema - Best First Work, “Cronos,” 1995

  • Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film: Silver Raven, “Cronos,” 1994

  • Fantasporto: Audience Jury Award, “Cronos,” 1994

  • Fantasporto: International Fantasy Film Award, Best Film, “Cronos,” 1994

  • Ariel: Golden Ariel, “Cronos,” 1993

  • Ariel: Silver Ariel, Best Direction, “Cronos,” 1993

  • Ariel: Silver Ariel, Best First Work (Mejor Ópera Prima), “Cronos,” 1993

  • Ariel: Silver Ariel, Best Original Story (Mejor Argumento Original), “Cronos,” 1993

  • Ariel: Silver Ariel, Best Screenplay (Mejor Guión Cinematográfico), “Cronos,” 1993

  • Cannes Film Festival: Mercedes-Benz Award, “Cronos,” 1993

  • Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival: DICINE Award, “Cronos,” 1993

  • Havana Film Festival: Coral, Best First Work, “Cronos,” 1993

  • Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival: Best Screenplay, “Cronos,” 1993

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