Thomas Peter "Tom" Shadyac is a Lebanese-American comedian, producer, director and writer. He is most famous for his partnership with comedic actor Jim Carrey, with whom he directed the films Ace Ventura:Pet Detective, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty .
Tom graduated from J.E.B Stuart High School in Falls Church, Virginia, in 1976. At Stuart, Tom was a member of the Raiders basketball squad and was a prominently involved in a student service organization, the Key Club. Tom was exceedingly intelligent and studious, making the Junior National and National Honor Societies throughout is High School years. In both 1975 and 1976 Tom was included in Who's Who Among High School Students.
As a student at the University of Virginia, he produced a poster entitled "Are You a Preppie?" Borrowing from the style of National Lampoon and from the fact that preppies were in strong supply in Charlottesville and newarby Richmond, Virginia, the poster preceded the more famous The Official Preppy Handbook. The poster went into multiple printings and served as a fund-raiser for his fraternity, Signa Chi. He graduated from UVA in 1981, and later from UCLA Film School.
Shadyac moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and, at age 24, become the youngest staff joke writer ever for comedian Bob Hope. Shadyac had early associations with Hollywood comedy elite. His father, Richard C. Shadyac, Sr., a Washington D.C attorney, was a long time friend of comedian, actor and TV producer Danny Thomas. Thomas's charity and lifelong efforts were aimed at the founding and development of St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. The elder Shadyac served in many capacities relative to the hospital and served as CEO of St. Jude's fundraising arm, ALSAC, from 1992-2005.
Tom Shadyac had a brief stint at acting, appearing in an episode of Magnum, P.I and in the 1987 film, Jocks. Also received his master's degree in film from UCLA in 1989 after completing the critically acclaimed short, Tom, Dick and Harry. He then worked on movies-of-the-week, rewrote and directed for Fox. His hit films with Carrey include Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, and the ACE Ventora:Pet Detective movie series. He collaborated with Eddie Murphy to write The Nutty Professor movie series. He directed Patch Adams starring Robin Williams and Dragonfly with Kevin Costner. He was also the executive producr t the ABC TV series 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.
His most recent directing stint was for Evan Almighty, the sequel to Bruce Almighty. In October 2006, at a Virginia Film Festival event, he conceded that Evan Almighty would end up being the most expensive comedy ever made.
Shadyac is also currently a professor at Pepperdine University teaching a screenwriting course.
He frequently casts Jim Carrey in lead roles, often collaborates with Steve Oedekerk in working on a film and hires Don Zimmerman as the editor. Tom Shadyac's production company for films is Shady Acres Entertainment.
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