November 27, 1964
Los Angeles, California, United States
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Although he became instantly recognizable through his numerous appearances as a judge on "So You Think You Can Dance?" (Fox 2005- ), Adam Shankman carved out a varied career as a film and TV director, producer, and choreographer. Shankman began working as a dancer in music videos in the 1980s and moved into choreography before making his debut as a feature film director with the Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy "The Wedding Planner" (2001). Shankman's facility for comedy was quickly recognized and soon saw him helm film vehicles for Steve Martin, but he returned to his roots for cinema adaptations of the Broadway hits "Hairspray" (2007) and "Rock Of Ages" (2012). Meanwhile, he continued to work as a director on television shows such as "Glee" (Fox 2009 -15) and served as producer on a wide variety of projects from supernatural thriller "Premonition" (2007) to 2010's Academy Awards show.Shankman was born in Los Angeles and raised in Brentwood. After attending Juilliard, he dropped out to perform in musical theater and graduated to dancing in videos for artists such as Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. He won his first professional job behind the scenes in 1989 when the choreographer of a video for rapper MC Shan dropped out; Shankman lied to the director about his experience and was duly hired. Shankman continued to work as a choreographer throughout the 1990s on movies ranging from the family hit "Addams Family Values" (1993) the indie sensation "Boogie Nights" (1997). Shankman began his career as a director in 1998 with a short film, "Cosmo's Tale," which was shown at Sundance. He landed his first feature, "The Wedding Planner" (2001), after helping his sister, producer Jennifer Gibgot, doctor the script.After directing the romantic drama "A Walk To Remember" (2002), Shankman moved back to comedy for "Bringing Down The House" (2003) with Steve Martin, "The Pacifier" (2004) with Vin Diesel, and 2005's "Cheaper By The Dozen 2" which re-united him with Martin. Shankman began his stint as a judge on "So You Think You Can Dance" with the show's third season in 2006, while continuing to work as a producer on a variety of movies including the successful "Step Up" musical franchise."Hairspray" (2007) saw Shankman back on his home turf and proved both a commercial and critical smash. An adaptation of the Broadway hit based on the 1988 film by John Waters, the movie was an ebullient evocation of early 1960s dance crazes, featuring John Travolta (in drag in the role originated by Divine) and Disney teen idol Zac Efron. Shankman returned to comedy for the 2008 Adam Sandler movie "Bedtime Stories," and was one of the producers of "The 82nd Annual Academy Awards" (ABC 2010) for which he choreographed a dance routine. He returned to movie musicals in 2012 with an adaptation of the Broadway rock jukebox hit "Rock Of Ages," which was met with mixed reviews and disappointing box-office. He continued to work as a director on television with episodes of "Glee" while maintaining his role as a judge on "So You Think You Can Dance?"
Step UpNightclub Dancer
The Gun in Betty Lou's HandbagTimid Man