Walter Parkes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Walter Parkes
Walter Steven Fishman

(1951-04-15) April 15, 1951 (age 67)
OccupationFilm producer, screenwriter, media executive
Spouse(s)Laurie MacDonald

Walter F. Parkes (born April 15, 1951) is an American producer, screenwriter, and media executive. The producer of more than 50 films, including the Men in Black series and Minority Report, he is the co-founder and co-chairman of Dreamscape Immersive.[1][2]

Parkes helped to build DreamWorks as the head of its motion picture division,[3] and served as the president of Amblin Entertainment.[4] He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, receiving his first nomination as the director/ producer of the 1975 documentary The California Reich; his second for co-writing the original screenplay for WarGames; and his third as a producer of Awakenings.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Parkes was born in Bakersfield, California. He attended Yale University, and graduated cum laude in 1973.[6]WarGames, co-written by Parkes with Lawrence Lasker and Walon Green, garnered a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination. Parkes and Lasker co-produced several films, including Sneakers and Awakenings, a Best Picture Oscar nominee in 1990. Other films Parkes produced or on which he served as executive producer include, the Men in Black series, The Kite Runner, Golden Globe-winning Sweeney Todd, Dinner for Schmucks, Gladiator, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, The Ring, The Terminal, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Road to Perdition, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Deep Impact, Twister, The Legend of Zorro and Amistad.

In 1994, Parkes was named President of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and later that year, he and his wife and business partner Laurie MacDonald[7] were tapped to help create the DreamWorks SKG motion picture studio. As the studio's president, Parkes, in partnership with Laurie MacDonald, oversaw development and production of all DreamWorks' film projects, including three consecutive Best Picture Oscar winners: American Beauty, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind — the latter two in partnership with Universal Studios. Other films produced during their tenure include: Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, Robert Zemeckis' What Lies Beneath, Adam McKay's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Michael Mann's Collateral, and Steven Spielberg's Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning drama Saving Private Ryan, which was the top-grossing film domestically of 1998.

Parkes is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Writers Guild of America and the Global Business Network. He is on the board of directors for the Center for A New American Security (CNAS).

Parkes and his wife live in Santa Monica, California, and have two children, Jane MacDonald and Graham Joseph.[7]



  1. ^ Barnes, Brooks (2017-09-26). "Coming Soon to AMC Theaters: Virtual Reality Experiences". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  2. ^ Fink, Charlie. "Dreamscape's Big Dreams for Immersive VR". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  3. ^ Duke, Paul F. (2000-05-23). "D'Works reups film co-toppers". Variety. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  4. ^ BRAXTON, GREG (1994-01-27). "'Birdland' Pair Unruffled by It All : Entertainment: Executives Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are getting ready to take over at Spielberg's Amblin, but say, 'We can't afford to get ahead of ourselves.'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  5. ^ "Parkes and MacDonald Renew DreamWorks Deal". 2000-05-23. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  6. ^ Kaplan, Fred (2016-02-19). "'WarGames' and Cybersecurity's Debt to a Hollywood Hack". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  7. ^ a b "Walter F. Parkes (1951– )". Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  8. ^ Chitwood, Adam (2018-12-05). "The 'Men in Black' Reboot Is Titled 'Men in Black International'". Collider. Retrieved 2018-12-05.

External links[edit]