Guillermo del Toro Biography

Guillermo del Toro photo

Born: October 09, 1964

A native of Jalisco, Mexico, Guillermo del Toro grew up in an all-male Jesuit school. A fan of the gothic horror genre since childhood, he spent much of his free time watching Japanese horror films and became inspired by a number of directors including Bunuel, Hitchcock, Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam, Renoir and David Lynch.

Guillermo learned the art of film by studying script writing with Jaime Humberto Hermosillo and special effects and makeup with legendary SFX artist Dick Smith. During his studies he started to film a number of his own short films including Doña Lupe and Geometria, both of which were selected for a dozen international film festivals.

In 1986 he wrote and directed three episodes for the series Hora Marcada. He spent much of the latter '80s working on films as a make-up artist. His expertise in make-up led to the creation of his own company, Necropia, in which he spent the '90s supervising special effects make-up for several films.

In 1993 Guillermo returned to directing and writing and released Cronos. The horror film earned awards all over the globe, including seven Silver Ariels at the Mexican Academy Awards. He followed up Cronos with another horror film, Mimic (1997), which was neither as impressive as his first feature, nor was it as well received by either critics or viewers.

At the start of the 21st century, he started working with his other love - comic books. He directed Blade 2 (2002) based on the popular Marvel comic series, followed by Hellboy (2004), based on a comic book of the same name, and one of del Toro's personal favorites.

In 2007, Guillermo received his first Oscar nomination, for writing the screenplay for Pan's Labyrinth (2006), a disturbing film set in 1944 fascist Spain. In 2013 he received a Hugo nomination for having written (with three other writers) the screenplay for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012). His highly anticipated film, Pacific Rim, which he directed and co-wrote, was shot in Toronto with several Canadian cast members and opened in theaters on July 12, 2013.

His latest directorial credits include the horror flick Crimson Peak (2015) and the sci-fi/romance The Shape of Water (2017). For the latter film, in 2018 he received his first Academy Award as Best Director, followed by a second Academy Award, this time for Best Motion Picture. He also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his direction on the film.

The next film he directed, Nightmare Alley (2021) starring Bradley Cooper, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Motion Picture, then in 2023, his film Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022) won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

Guillermo is a founding member of the Film Studies Center and the Muestra del Cine Mexicano (Mexican Film Festival) in his hometown and has taught and headed film workshops since the age of 15. He has also served as a juror on the selection committee of the Mexican Film Institute, Sundance Institute and the Spirit Awards.


Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)
Nightmare Alley (2021)
The Shape of Water (2017)
Crimson Peak (2015)
Pacific Rim (2013)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)
Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Hellboy (2004)
Blade II (2002)
The Devil's Backbone (2001)
Mimic (1997)
Cronos (1993)

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