Winter at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival
17 July 1965 |
|Occupation||actor, film director, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Sonya Dawson (1995-?; divorced; 1 child)
Ramsey Ann Naito (2010-present; 1 child)
Alexander Ross "Alex" Winter (born 17 July 1965) is an English-born American actor, film director and screenwriter, best known for his role as Bill S. Preston Esq. in the 1989 film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and its 1991 sequel Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. He is also well known for his role as Marko in the 1987 cult classic The Lost Boys, and for co-writing, co-directing and starring in the 1993 film Freaked.
Winter was born in London, England. He is Jewish. His mother, Gregg Mayer, is a New York-born American who was a former Martha Graham dancer and founded a modern-dance company in London in the mid-1960s. His father, Ross Albert Winter, was Australian and danced with Winter's mother's troupe. Winter received training in dance as a child. When he was five, his family moved to Missouri, where his father ran the Mid-American Dance Company, while his mother taught dance at Washington University in St. Louis. The two divorced in 1973.
Winter moved to New York City in 1978 and began performing as an actor on and off Broadway. In 1983, he was accepted into the Film School at New York University (NYU). While at college, he met fellow aspiring filmmaker Tom Stern. The two collaborated on a number of 16mm short films and both graduated with honours. These 16mm short films inspired Andy Samberg of Saturday Night Live fame to create his digital shorts.
As an actor, Winter spent many years on Broadway with supporting roles in productions of The King and I, Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, and the American premiere of Simon Gray's Close of Play at the Manhattan Theatre Club. After completing NYU film school, he and Tom Stern moved out to Hollywood, where the two wrote and directed a number of short films and music videos. Winter continued to find work as an actor, landing notable roles in such big productions as The Lost Boys and Rosalie Goes Shopping. In 1989, Winter found international success when he co-starred with Keanu Reeves as Bill S. Preston in the smash-hit comedy Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and its 1991 sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
Following the success of Bill & Ted, Winter and creative collaborators Tom Stern and Tim Burns were hired to develop a sketch comedy show for MTV. The result, 1991's The Idiot Box, was a success for the network, but the channel's budgetary problems prevented them from filming additional seasons, and it was canceled after six episodes. Winter, Stern and Burns accepted a $12 million deal from 20th Century Fox to film their own feature film, which would end up becoming 1993's Freaked. While the film was never widely released, despite positive reviews from The New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly, Freaked went on to become a cult favourite, through festivals, TV and DVD, and was cited by Entertainment Weekly, on their list of Top Ten Comedies of the Nineties.
Winter did not return to directing until 1999, when he filmed Fever. The film was shown at film festivals worldwide, including Official Selection in the Director's Fortnight at Cannes. New York Daily News praised the film, calling it "a claustrophobic mind bender. Winter sustains an aura of creepiness worthy of Roman Polanski."
Winter works between his American home base and London, where he directs music videos and commercials. Highlights of his work include directing several installments of the popular Peugeot Thelma & Louise advertising campaign, as well as campaigns for Ford, the global launch of the all CGI Tony the Tiger for Frosties, and award-winning spots for Supercuts and Google in the United States.
In 2007, Winter returned to acting after a nearly 14-year absence in a guest spot on the crime series Bones. He has a recurring role as the voice of "King Mole Man" on the Adult Swim show, Saul of the Mole Men, which was created by long-time friend Tom Stern, and has directed the live-action adaptation of the hit Cartoon Network series Ben 10, which aired in November 2007 and garnered the highest ratings in Cartoon Network history. He directed its sequel, Ben 10: Alien Swarm which aired on Cartoon Network in November 2009 and captured over 16 million viewers in its premiere weekend. He has reportedly been chosen to write the screenplay for the Howard Stern-produced remake of Rock 'n' Roll High School. His latest project is a 3D-remake of the 1987 horror film The Gate which was scheduled for release in 2011.
In April 2011, Winter's Bill & Ted co-star Keanu Reeves confirmed that a third installment of the film series was underway. Winter's confirmed work on Bill & Ted 3 was still in progress in a 2014 article on the original film's 25th anniversary.
Theatrical feature films
- Freaked (1993) (also co-writer, co-producer and actor [Ricky Coogin])[A]
- Fever (1999) (also writer and actor [subway passenger])
- Downloaded (2012)
- Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and The Silk Road (in production)
- The SMOSH Movie (in development)
TV and home video
- NYU Sight & Sound Project (mid-1980s) (student short film, released on DVD, also actor)[A]
- Squeal of Death (1985) (short film, aired on Night Flight and West Coast Cable, released on VHS and DVD, also co-writer and actor)[A]
- Aisles of Doom (1989) (short film, aired on Night Flight and West Coast Cable, released on VHS, also co-writer and actor [Grendel T.W. Ulcerous])[A]
- Stuart S. Shapiro's Impact Video Magazine (1989), includes, among others, Entering Texas a.k.a. Bar-B-Que Movie (VHS, also actor)[A]
- Howie Meets the Ghost of Environmental Disasters Yet to Come (1990) (short film for the Nigel Dick-directed Save the Planet: A CBS/Hard Rock Cafe Special, aired on CBS April 20, 1990, also actor)[A]
- The Idiot Box (1991) (MTV show, also co-writer and actor)[A]
- Meals on Wheels (1991 or 1992) (short film for The Playboy Channel's Inside Out late night anthology series, also co-writer and actor)[A]
- Tabla Beat Science: Talamanam Sound Clash (2003) (concert DVD, co-directed by Zane Vella)
- Dirty Famous (2005) (VH1 pilot)
- Ben 10: Race Against Time (2007) (Cartoon Network film, also executive producer and actor [Constantine Jacobs])
- Ben 10: Alien Swarm (2009) (Cartoon Network film, also executive producer and voice actor [Nanomech])
- Jimmy Kimmel Live! segments
- The Andy Milonakis Show
- Level Up (TV series) (2012)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers — "Taste the Pain" and "Knock Me Down" (1989)[A]
- Ice Cube — "Who's the Mack?" (1990)[A]
- Human Radio — "Me & Elvis" (1990)[A]
- Extreme — "Decadence Dance" (1990)[A]
- Ronny Jordan — "The Jackal" (1993)
- Helmet — "Milquetoast" (1994)
- Helmet — "Wilma's Rainbow" (1994)
- Bomb the Bass feat. Carlton — "1 to 1 Religion" (1995)
- Foetus — "Verklemmt" (1995)
- Axiom Funk[B] — "If 6 Was 9" (1996)
- Bomb the Bass feat. Justin Warfield — "Bug Powder Dust" (1997)
- Helmet — "Exactly What You Wanted" (1997)
As actor in works by other directors
Theatrical feature films
- Death Wish 3 (1985) — Hermosa (Director Michael Winner)
- Medium Rare (1987) — (Director Paul Madden)
- The Lost Boys (1987) — Marko (Director Joel Schumacher)
- Haunted Summer (1988) — Dr. John Polidori (Director Ivan Passer)
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) — Bill S. Preston, Esq. (Director Stephen Herek)
- Rosalie Goes Shopping (1989) — Schatzi Greenspace (Director Percy Adlon)
- Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) — Bill S. Preston, Esq./Granny Preston/Evil Robot Bill (Director Peter Hewitt)
- The Borrowers (1997) — TV Gangster (Director Peter Hewitt)
- Grand Piano (2014) — Assistant (Director Eugenio Mira)
- Bill & Ted 3 (TBA) — Bill S. Preston, Esq.
- The Equalizer episode "Mama's Boy" (1985) — Jeffrey (director James Sheldon)
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (1990) — Bill S. Preston, Esq. (voice) (directors Robert Alvarez, Don Lusk, Paul Sommer & Carl Urbano)
- Sex, Shock and Censorship in the 90's (1993) — Stinx on Ice (director David Jablin, aired on Showtime 10 September 1993)
- Bones episode "The Girl in the Gator" (2007) — Monte Gold (director Allan Kroeker)
- Saul of the Mole Men 5 episodes (2007) — King Mole Man (voice) (director Tom Stern)
- Robot Chicken 1 episode (2012) — Bill S. Preston, Esq., Steve Burns (voice)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers — "Higher Ground" (1989) (directors Drew Carolan & Bill Stobaugh)
- Red Hot Chili Peppers — "Knock Me Down" (1989) (director Drew Carolan)
- Brother Cane — "Hard Act to Follow" (1994) (director David Hogan)
- "Daniel Stern". Jewish United Fund. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- Alex Winter Biography – Yahoo! Movies
- Alex Winter Film Reference biography
- "Dude! It's Alex Winter!". CNN. 12 November 2002. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- Bill and Ted – Articles Archive
- "Alex Winter, the Slacker from Bill & Ted's Excellent Edventure, Finds Directing More Bodacious Than Acting". 18 November 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- Kevin Pollak interview with Alex Winter (September 8, 2014).
- Burr, Ty (15 October 1993). "EW review of 'Freaked'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
- Sciretta, Peter (30 July 2008), Alex Winter to Write Howard Stern’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Remake, /Film, retrieved 9 June 2010
- "Remaking The Gate – Interview Alex Winter". screen/read. Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
- "Bill & Ted 3".
- Freeman, Hadley (17 April 2014). "Bill & Ted's 25th birthday: party on, dudes!". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
- Cangialosi, Jason. "Interview: Alex Winter on Napster Documentary 'Downloaded'". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
- "Kickstarter: Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and The Silk Road". Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- Official website
- Official Facebook Page
- Alex Winter at the Internet Movie Database
- Alex Winter at the Internet Broadway Database