Date of Birth: November 27, 1964
A native of Los Angeles, Shankman developed a love for the theater at an early age. After high school, he moved to New York and attended Juilliard in the dance program for two years.
After five years of work as an actor/dancer in New York and regional theater, Shankman moved back to Los Angeles and began dancing in music videos, including those of Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson. He also performed at the 1989 Academy Awards.
At age 24, Shankman teamed up with influential video director Julian Temple and began working as a music video choreographer. One of the first videos he choreographed was Whitney Houston's I'm Your Baby Tonight. He has also choreographed videos for The B-52's, Barry White, Aaron Neville, Chic and Stevie Wonder.
Shankman then turned to film and put his creative stamp as a dance and physical comedy choreographer on many well-known films including: Monkey Bone, She's All That, Inspector Gadget, Blast From the Past, Antz, The Out of Towners, Forces of Nature, Scream 2, Anastasia, A Life Less Ordinary, George of the Jungle, Boogie Nights and The Flintstones (for which he was nominated for a Bob Fosse Award).
In 1998 Shankman directed the short film Cosmo's Tale, which was an official entry and well-received at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. Three years later he made his feature film directorial debut with The Wedding Planner starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. The film did well at the box office, and Shankman next directed Mandy Moore in the romantic drama A Walk to Remember (2002) based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. The film was an instant hit with young audiences. Bringing down the House (2003) starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah was a crowd pleaser too, grossing over $132 million at the domestic box office. His next film, The Pacifier (2005) starring Vin Diesel, was also a bona fide hit, grossing over $113 million. His next project was the highly-anticipated big-screen adaptation of the musical Rock of Ages, which Shankman directed,co-produced and choreographed. The film's star-studded cast includes Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Catherine Zeta-Jones to name a few.