Peter Hedges

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Peter Hedges
BornPeter Simpson Hedges
(1962-07-06) July 6, 1962 (age 60)
West Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
  • Novelist
  • playwright
  • screenwriter
  • film director
  • film producer
EducationUniversity of North Carolina School of the Arts (BFA)
Notable worksWhat's Eating Gilbert Grape (novel, 1991)
Dan in Real Life (film, 2007)
Susan Bruce Titman
(m. 1993)
Children2, including Lucas

Peter Simpson Hedges (born July 6, 1962) is an American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, film director and film producer.

Early life[edit]

Hedges was born in West Des Moines, Iowa, where he was raised, the son of Carole (Simpson), a psychotherapist, and the Rev. Robert Boyden Hedges, an Episcopal priest.[1][2] His mother left when he was young so he was raised by his single father. He attended Valley High School, where he was involved in the theater department, including the improvisational group and the mime troupe, The Bakers Dozen. He later went to the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied drama.


Hedges' novel What's Eating Gilbert Grape was adapted into a critically acclaimed movie of the same title, for which he wrote the screenplay, launching his film career.

In 2002, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for About a Boy, alongside Chris and Paul Weitz. In the same year, he wrote and directed Pieces of April, starring Katie Holmes, which he dedicated to his mother.

In 2007, he co-wrote and directed Dan in Real Life.

He wrote and directed The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012), a film conceived by Ahmet Zappa, produced by Zappa and Scott Sanders, and released by Walt Disney Pictures.[3] In 2018, he wrote and directed the drama Ben Is Back, about drug addiction, starring his son Lucas Hedges, and Julia Roberts.

His latest novel The Heights was published March 4, 2010 by Dutton.

Personal life[edit]

His wife is Susan Bruce (Titman), a poet. They have two sons; Simon, who works in private equity [4] in New York, and actor Lucas Hedges.



  • Oregon (1984)
  • Champions of the Average Joe (1985)
  • The Age of Pie (1986)
  • Andy and Claire (1986)
  • Teddy by the Sea (1986)
  • Imagining Brad (1988)
  • Baby Anger (1993)
  • Good as New (1995)


  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1991)
  • An Ocean in Iowa (1998)
  • The Heights (2010)


  1. ^ a b The New York Times
  2. ^ "Robert Hedges Obituary (1925 - 2014) - San Angelo, IA - the Des Moines Register".
  3. ^ Borys Kit, "Hedges on tap for Zappa's 'Odd' movie idea,"
  4. ^ GQ, The Long Adolescence of Lucas Hedges

External links[edit]