It will be very hard for one not to rank Home Alone (1990) amongst the best Christmas films that were ever made. When talking about the movie, actor Macaulay Culkin is one of the first names that one would mention, however, there are people like Chris Columbus who played a bigger role in putting the film together. Columbus is a revered filmmaker, who apart from Home Alone, has directed films like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) as well as its sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).
Chris Columbus Bio
The American filmmaker was born on September 10, 1958, in Spangler, Pennsylvania, U.S., as Chris Joseph Columbus. He was, however, brought up in Champion, Ohio. Of Italian and Czech descent, his parents are Alex Michael Columbus, who worked as a coal miner and an aluminum plant worker, and Mary Irene Columbus, who was a factory worker.
For his education, he went to the John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio from where he graduated before moving to New York University’s film school. From a poor background, it was thanks to a scholarship that Columbus made it to the University. Unfortunately for him, he “stupidly” forgot to renew the scholarship after the first year and so he was left to work the whole summer in a factory.
He began his career in 1984 when he wrote both Reckless and Gremlins, of which the latter got nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Writing. In the following years, he wrote The Goonies (1985), Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), and episodes of the animated series Galaxy High (1986), before making his directorial debut in Adventures in Babysitting (1987).
In the late 80s and early 90s, Columbus directed, wrote, or performed both roles on films like Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989), Only the Lonely (1991), and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). By 1995, he added producer to his list of titles when he wrote, directed, and produced the comedy Nine Months.
Wife and Daughter
After he graduated from NYU, Chris Columbus met a woman named Monica Devereux, who was a dancer at a Halloween party. On their first date, the two reportedly stayed out until 4 A.M, hitting different bars along Manhattan’s Bleecker Street and catching as much laughter as possible. At that time, Columbus was living in New York City in a rodent-ridden apartment writing all the imaginations he had. One of these would only a few years later turn out to be the horror-comedy Gremlins, which was produced by Steven Spielberg.
Three years after their love story began, Columbus and Devereux got married in 1983. Their union is blessed with four children; Eleanor, who was born in 1989, Brendan in 1992, Violet in 1994, and Isabella in 1996. Unlike many people making a living in Hollywood, the couple chose to raise their kids in Nothern California instead of Los Angeles, because according to them, Hollywood is intoxicating. Nonetheless, he revealed that it was his wife that brought them up so as not to spoil them since they were both raised in poor families.
Facts About The Filmmaker
1. When he was still working at the factory after he failed to renew his scholarship in college, Chris Columbus wrote a 20-page screenplay which his teacher used to help him get an agent.
2. In 1994, the filmmaker co-founded the film production company, 1492 Pictures, with Mark Radcliffe and Michael Barnathan. The company has produced many films, most notably Fantastic Four (2005), Night at the Museum (2006), I Kill Giants (2017), and The Christmas Chronicles (2018).
3. He enjoys giving cameo appearances in his films to his family members, including his wife, children, and other close relatives. One notable beneficiary of such exposure is his first child, Eleanor, who appeared in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) among other movies.
4. Columbus has got several awards in his career and even more nominations, including an Oscar nomination for The Help (2011) which also got a BAFTA film award nomination. He won a BAFTA Children’s Award for Best Feature Film for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) in 2004 and Black Reel Awards for Best Film The Help (2011) in 2012.
5. Coming from where he came, Chris Columbus has walked a very long mile as far as his fortune is concerned. He has a net worth of $80 million.
6. More than simply a filmmaker, he is also a book writer. He created the book series House of Secrets with Ned Vizzini.