J.J. Abrams Biography

J.J. Abrams photo

Born: June 27, 1966


Date of Birth: June 27, 1966

Born in New York, J.J. Abrams was raised in Los Angeles. When his grandfather took him on a tour of Universal Studios at the age of eight, he found himself swept up in the magic of movie making. He borrowed his father's Super 8mm camera and began making his own films. Some even made it to student festivals, where he won several awards.

While attending Sarah Lawrence College, Abrams sold his first screenplay, Taking Care of Business (1990), a comedy starring Jim Belushi. His next film, Regarding Henry (1991) starring Harrison Ford, was a hit with both audiences and critics. Again working with the big timers, his next script, Forever Young (1992) starred Mel Gibson and was a box office hit, grossing over double its investment.

In 1998 he co-created the hit drama Felicity and made his directing debut with several episodes (which he also wrote). The next series he created, Alias starring Jennifer Garner, also went on to be a big success, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Drama series. When Alias was winding down, Abrams went on to co-create his biggest hit to date, Lost. About a group of plane crash survivors lost on an island, the show was an immediate success. For his work as a director, he won his first Emmy award in 2005, as well as sharing an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series with the other producers. He also won a Writers Guild Award and was nominated for a Directors Guild of America award for the series' pilot.

Abrams made his feature film directorial debut with Mission: Impossible III (2006), starring Tom Cruise.

Returning to the small screen, he won an Emmy award for directing the pilot of the hit series Lost in 2005. He also writes for and produces the series.

It was several years later before he had a chance to return to feature film work, this time taking on the challenge of Star Trek (2009), starting at the beginning with a whole new cast in the familiar roles. His third big screen effort was the sci-fi thriller Super 8, starring Kyle Chandler. He also directed the Star Trek sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

Since then, he's enjoyed enormous success as the director of the highest-grossing movie at the domestic box office: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Abrams has three children with his wife, Katie.

Change Location