Lost, Alias Creator
A son of a TV producer, J.J. Abrams, sometimes credited as Jeffrey Abrams or Jeffrey J. Abrams, gained his first break as the co-creator and the executive producer of the acclaimed TV series "Felicity." He continued to create such TV hits as the spy series “Alias” (2001-now) and the castaway drama “Lost” (2004-now).
As for the big screen, Abrams served as the screenwriter for such films as Regarding Henry (1991), Forever Young (1992), Armageddon (1998) and Joy Ride (2001). He recently made his feature-film directorial debut with Mission: Impossible 3 (2006), starring Tom Cruise and has announced he will direct Star Trek XI, slated for a 2008 release.
Childhood and Family:
In New York City, Jeffrey Jacob Abrams was born on June 27, 1966, to TV producer Gerald Abrams (his work included the Emmy-nominated "A Family of Spies"). Young J.J. Abrams attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, before enrolling with Sorbonne, at the University of Paris. While writing scripts in college, J.J. Abrams frequently used the Alvin Sargent screenplay to Ordinary People (1980) as a guide.
As for his own family, J.J. Abrams has three children with wife Katie. The children are Henry (born in 1998), Gracie (born in 1999) and August (born January 11, 2006). Abrams and his family divide their time between Los Angeles and Maine.
The son of a prolific TV-movie producer, New York-born J.J. Abrams was raised in Los Angeles and began making Super 8mm movies at age 8. Teen Abrams later became interested in screenwriting and decided to leave college in the late 1980s to pursue his dream career. He made countless amateur films for student film festivals and also won a number of awards.
A decade later, Abrams finally wrote his first screenplay, along with Jill Mazursky, for director Arthur Hiller's Taking Care of Business (1990). The comedy was produced by Jill's father, Paul Mazursky, and starred Jim Belushi.
The next year, Abrams co-produced, wrote and played a small role in Mike Nichols' drama feature Regarding Henry (1991, starring Harrison Ford and Annette Bening), which is about a lawyer suffering from amnesia. He followed it up with executive-producing and writing Steve Miner's Forever Young (1992), a Mel Gibson vehicle about a test pilot who volunteers for a cryogenics experiment and is thawed out 50 years later.
In 1996, Abrams produced his first film under a production company he co-owns with Jason Katims and Paul Webster, The Pallbearer, a romantic comedy directed by childhood buddy Matt Reeves. The film starred David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow. After co-writing with Jill Mazursky for Christopher Cain's Gone Fishin' (1997, starring Joe Pesci and Danny Glover), Abrams collaborated with the Pallbearer director to create the TV series "Felicity," which centers around a girl who follows her high school crush to college to be near him. Abrams also directed several episodes of the teen drama soap, which stars Keri Russell. The series aired on the WB network from 1998 to 2002.
In 1998, Abrams co-scripted Michael Bay's summer hit Armageddon (featuring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler), which centers on an oil drill crew hired to blow up a gigantic asteroid. After producing director-writer-actor Donald Lardner Ward's drama comedy The Suburbans (1999, also starring Jennifer Love Hewitt) and co-writing the screenplay (with Clay Tarver) and producing John Dahl's thriller Joy Ride (2001, featuring Steve Zahn, Paul Walker and Leelee Sobieski), Abrams returned to work on TV. He created the hit ABC series "Alias," which focuses on a girl who is recruited to be a double agent for the CIA. Abrams also directed and wrote several episodes of the spy series. The series star, Jennifer Garner, also netted several awards for her work on the series.
While working on “Alias,” Abrams created and served as executive producer for the ABC show "Lost," which centers on plane crash survivors who are forced to live with each other on a remote island. With $12 million and 12 weeks to prepare and shoot a pilot, the show netted three times the audience expected, giving Abrams TV’s golden boy status. Abrams also wrote and directed several episodes of the castaway series, which cast members include Emilie de Ravin, Josh Holloway, Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan. “Lost” later won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series and Directing for a Drama Series. The show is still being aired since its first appearance in 2004.
Abrams’ credibility and popularity continued to increase when he made his feature-film directorial debut with Mission: Impossible 3 (2006), starring Tom Cruise. It is the most expensive film ever made by a first time director, who said he got the job because Tom Cruise loved the early episodes of "Alias."
As for his upcoming project, Abrams, a fan of the original Star Trek series, has announced that he intends to make an 11th Star Trek film, which is slated to be released in 2008.