About Jeffrey Jacob Abrams
The mastermind behind the television hits Lost and Felicity, J.J. Abrams is a rare Hollywood talent able to juggle multiple tasks and plotlines simultaneously. The indefatigable TV guy also managed to squeeze in his feature-film directorial debut with the Tom Cruise vehicle Mission: Impossible III, which hit theaters in 2006. But it was his reboot of the famed franchise Star Trek (2009) that launched his blockbuster career in earnest and foretold of even greater things to come, including his ode to Steven Spielberg, Super 8 (2011), which audiences and critics hailed as one of Abrams' most engaging efforts in a career already rife with crowd-pleasing entertainment. In addition to writing scripts and directing, Abrams composed and recorded the theme songs for Lost and Alias .
He was born Jeffrey Jacob Abrams on June 27, 1966 in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, where he attended Palisades Charter High School. He is the son of television producer Gerald W. Abrams and executive producer Carol Ann Abrams. His sister is screenwriter, Tracy Rosen. Abrams is Jewish, and attended Sarah Lawrence College.
It was at the age of eight that the wide-eyed youth first discovered his love of film while on a Hollywood studio tour with his grandfather, and when the pair returned home, Abrams convinced his father to let him try his hand at filmmaking with the family's Super-8 camera. During the following decade, the young auteur grew increasingly comfortable behind the camera, and he continued to turn out his impressive amateur films at an exhausting rate. Later attending New York's Sarah Lawrence College and teaming with a close friend to pen a feature-film treatment, Abrams got his first taste of success when the screenplay was eventually adapted into the James Belushi comedy Taking Care of Business. In the following years, Abrams' career continued to gain momentum as he penned screenplays for such features as Regarding Henry, Forever Young, and Gone Fishin, and it was during this period that the ambitious screenwriter also began to try his hand at producing. As Abrams subsequently began to branch out by producing features that he had no hand in writing, such as The Pallbearer and The Suburbans, he also continued to write by contributing to the screenplay for Michael Bay's Armageddon.
Abrams next made his first foray into television as the writer and creator of the hit television series Felicity -- which also found the tireless Abrams stepping into the director's chair for the first time in his professional career. As the series progressed, he was publicly vocal about his frustrations regarding the limitations of the series, and after joking that the series would be more interesting if the titular character had a secret life as a spy, the seed was planted for his most popular effort to date. Premiering on television in 2001, Abrams' second small-screen effort, Alias, told the story of a beautiful young international spy's efforts to battle the evil Alliance of 12 while attempting to find a balance between her secret and social lives. Not only did Alias immediately connect with television viewers, but it also found Abrams growing increasingly into his own as a writer and director. Three years later, Abrams had yet another hit on his hands as the writer/producer/director of Lost, which had the dubious distinction of being the most expensive television pilot ever produced. A haunting tale of a group of airplane-crash survivors stranded on a mysterious island, Lost stood alongside Desperate Housewives as one of the hits that kept the faltering ABC network afloat, picking up Emmy Awards and Golden Globes. Back in the world of film, fans were no doubt surprised when it was announced that Abrams would be returning to the world of features to direct the eagerly anticipated action sequel Mission: Impossible 3, which would serve as his feature-film directorial debut.
Abrams would continue writing for TV over the coming years, penning the thriller series Undercovers, and the sci-fi series Fringe. He would also wear various combinations of the writer, producer, and director hats simultaneously for a number of projects, such as the hotly anticipated first-person monster movie Cloverfield in 2008, the massively successful Star Trek in 2009, and the drama/thriller/fantasy movie Super 8 in 2011.
Abrams is married to public relations exec Katie McGrath and has three children: sons August and Henry and daughter Gracie. He resides in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California, United States.