J.J. Abrams was born in New York City on June 27, 1966, and started screenwriting during his college days. He has created several hit TV series, including Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe. He helmed 2006’s Mission Impossible III and the 2009 revamping of Star Trek. Abrams also directed Super 8, Star Trek Into Darkness and the humongous blockbuster Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.
Jeffrey Jacobs Abrams was born in New York City on June 27, 1966, later moving to Los Angeles. He developed an early interest in filmmaking. During his final year as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, he co-wrote the screenplay with Jill Mazursky that would become the 1990 comedy Taking Care of Business, starring James Belushi.
Abrams did some acting and continued his screenwriting work with films like Regarding Henry (1991), in which he had an on-screen role, Forever Young (1992), Gone Fishin' (1997) and Armageddon (1998). By the mid-1990s, Abrams had started to venture into film production work as well.
TV Hits: 'Felicity,' 'Alias' and 'Lost'
In 1998, Abrams created and wrote the WB network TV show Felicity, starring Keri Russell as the college-bound title character. It debuted in 1998 and ran for four seasons. Wanting to create something more action-packed and full of thrills, Abrams served as creator, producer, director and screenwriter for Alias. The multiple-season hit series debuted in 2001 and featured Jennifer Garner in a slew of guises as spy Sydney Bristow. Abrams started to become known for the intricacy and plot twists of his storytelling.
In 2004, he once again struck TV gold with the creation of the ABC series Lost, which featured a group of castaways stranded on a mysterious, mystical island. Abrams earned two 2005 Emmys for his work—one for direction and the other for Outstanding Drama Series—and received multiple nominations for the show over the years.
Directing 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars'
Abrams continued his TV production and screenwriting work with projects like What About Brian, Fringe and Undercovers. By the mid-2000s, Abrams made his movie-directing debut with 2006's Mission Impossible III. Abrams then directed a 2009 revamping of the beloved sci-fi TV and film series, Star Trek. Abrams's version went on to become a global hit, earning more than $385 million and much media talk around the new direction of the characters. His next directorial outing on the big screen came in 2011 with Super 8, a sci-fi mystery/thriller set in the '70s. His next film featuring the crew of the Enterprise, Star Trek Into Darkness, was released in May 2013.
In early 2013, it was announced that Abrams would direct another installment in another famous sci-fi film franchise—Star Wars, originally directed by George Lucas. The Abrams-helmed Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens opened in the U.S. on December 18, 2015. The critically lauded film broke an array of box office records, earning more than $247 million domestically in its opening weekend.
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