|Born||Robert Kenneth Shaye
March 4, 1939
Detroit, Michigan, United States
|Alma mater||University of Michigan
Columbia Law School
|Occupation||Film producer, film director, writer, actor|
|Years active||1980s – present|
|Spouse(s)||Eva G. Lindstern (m. 1970; 2 children)|
|Relatives||Lin Shaye (sister)|
Robert Kenneth Shaye (born March 4, 1939), often referred to as Bob Shaye, is an American entertainment businessman, film producer, director and actor. He is the founder and former CEO of New Line Cinema.
Shaye was born to a Jewish family in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Dorothy and Max Mendle Shaye, a supermarket owner and artist. His mother was an immigrant from Russia. He is the brother of actress Lin Shaye.
Shaye graduated from Detroit's Mumford High School. He earned a degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. He also graduated from the University of Stockholm as a Fulbright scholar. Shaye is a member of the New York State Bar Association, and he has served on the board of trustees for the Legal Aid Society.
While working at the Museum of Modern Art, Shaye began to explore the world of film distribution. In 1967, he formed New Line Cinema in his Greenwich Village apartment. The company started with a package of feature films and shorts rented to colleges. From there, New Line expanded to re-releases (such as the one for Reefer Madness) and first-run domestic distribution of foreign films (such as the 1978 film Get Out Your Handkerchiefs). New Line broke out commercially with such popular franchises as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Those successful franchises set the stage for a string of New Line hits, including The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Seven, the Austin Powers film series, Boogie Nights, The Wedding Singer, Blade, Rush Hour, and the Final Destination franchise. New Line also distributed the critically acclaimed documentary Hoop Dreams in 1994 via its specialty films division, Fine Line Features.
In 1998, when writer/director Peter Jackson brought his 25-minute pitch reel for a big screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to New Line, hoping to turn the three volumes into two films, Shaye suggested Jackson make three films. He subsequently greenlit an unprecedented simultaneous production for all three installments. Combined, The Lord of the Rings trilogy was nominated for 30 Oscars, winning 17, including a clean sweep of 11 awards for The Return of the King, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. At the box office, all three films are among the top 50 highest-grossing films of all time, earning a combined total of nearly $3 billion worldwide.
Later films distributed by New Line under Shaye's leadership include Freddy vs. Jason, Elf, The Notebook, Monster-in-Law, Wedding Crashers, A History of Violence, Pan's Labyrinth, and Hairspray. To date, Shaye has overseen the production or distribution of more than 500 feature films. He is also on the board of trustees for the American Film Institute and the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.
In June 2008, Shaye and company co-chairman Michael Lynne departed New Line and formed an independent film company, Unique Features. The company's recent projects include The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Sony/Constantin), the TV series Shadowhunters (Freeform Television), When The Bough Breaks (Screen Gems), and Ambition, directed by Shaye.
- "Robert Shaye Biography". filmreference.com.
- DiGiacomo, Frank (February 4, 2009). "The Lost Tycoons". Vanity Fair.
- Sheridan, Patricia (June 1, 2015). "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Lin Shaye". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- Busch, Anita (March 16, 2016). "Robert Shaye And Michael Lynne Pair For New Film 'Gifted'". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
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