Robert Shaye

Robert Shaye
Robert Shaye portrait.jpg
Robert Kenneth Shaye

(1939-03-04) March 4, 1939 (age 80)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Columbia Law School
OccupationFilm producer, film director, writer, actor
Years active1967 – present
Known forFounder of New Line Cinema
Eva G. Lindstern (m. 1970)
RelativesLin Shaye (sister)

Robert Kenneth Shaye (born March 4, 1939) is an American businessman, film producer, actor, director, writer and the founder of New Line Cinema.[2]


Early life[edit]

Shaye was born to a Jewish[3][4] family in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Dorothy and Max Mendle Shaye, a supermarket owner and artist.[1] His mother was an immigrant from Russia.[3] He is the brother of actress Lin Shaye.[3]

Shaye graduated from Detroit's Mumford High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. He also graduated from the University of Stockholm as a Fulbright scholar. Shaye is a member of the New York State Bar Association, and he has served on the board of trustees for the Neurosciences Institute, the Legal Aid Society, the American Film Institute, and the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.[2]

Film career[edit]

In 1967, Shaye formed New Line Cinema. The company started with a package of feature films and shorts rented to colleges. From there, New Line expanded to re-releases such as Reefer Madness and first-run domestic distribution of foreign films such as 1978's Get Out Your Handkerchiefs. New Line also released such films as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Other New Line films were The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Seven, the Austin Powers film series, Boogie Nights, The Wedding Singer, Blade, Rush Hour, and the Final Destination franchise. New Line also distributed the critically acclaimed documentary Hoop Dreams in 1994 through its specialty films division, Fine Line Features.

In 1998, when director Peter Jackson brought his 25-minute pitch reel for a big screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to New Line, hoping to turn the three volumes into two films, Shaye suggested Jackson make three films. He subsequently greenlit a simultaneous production for all three installments.[2] The Lord of the Rings trilogy was nominated for 30 Oscars, winning 17, including 11 awards for The Return of the King, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. At the box office, all three films are among the top 50 highest-grossing films of all time, earning a combined total of nearly $3 billion worldwide.

Later films distributed by New Line include Freddy vs. Jason, Elf, The Notebook, Monster-in-Law, Wedding Crashers, A History of Violence, Pan's Labyrinth, and Hairspray.

Unique Features[edit]

In June 2008, Shaye and company co-chairman Michael Lynne departed New Line and formed an independent film company, Unique Features. The company's recent projects include The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (Sony/Constantin), the TV series Shadowhunters (Freeform Television), When the Bough Breaks (Screen Gems), and Ambition, directed by Shaye.[5]


All films, he was producer unless otherwise noted.


Year Film Notes
1977 Stunts Executive producer
1981 Polyester Executive producer
1982 Alone in the Dark
Xtro Executive producer
1983 The First Time Executive producer
1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street
1985 A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
1986 Critters Executive producer
Quiet Cool
1987 A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
My Demon Lover
The Hidden
Stranded Executive producer
1988 Hairspray Executive producer
Critters 2: The Main Course Executive producer
The Prince of Pennsylvania Executive producer
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
1989 A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child
1990 Heart Condition Associate producer
1991 Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
1993 Blink Executive producer
1994 Wes Craven's New Nightmare Executive producer (also Actor)
2000 Frequency Executive producer
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Executive producer
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Executive producer
2003 Freddy vs. Jason Executive producer
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Executive producer
2007 The Last Mimzy Executive producer
Hairspray Executive producer
The Golden Compass Executive producer
2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street Executive producer
2013 The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Executive producer
2016 When the Bough Breaks
2018 Haunting on Fraternity Row Executive producer
2019 Ambition
As director
Year Film Notes
1963 Image Short film
1965 On Fighting Witches Short film
1990 Book of Love
2007 The Last Mimzy
2019 Ambition
As writer
Year Film Notes
1977 Stunts Scenario
1982 Alone in the Dark Story
As cinematographer
Year Film Notes
1965 On Fighting Witches Short film
Second unit director or assistant director
Year Film Notes
1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street Director: melting staircase sequence
Year Film Notes
1997 Spawn Thanks
Boogie Nights Special thanks
1998 Dark City Thanks
1999 Magnolia Special thanks
2006 Kill Your Darlings Thanks
2007 Run Fatboy Run Thanks
2008 The Women Special appreciation


Year Title Notes
1988 The Freddy Krueger Special Television special
1988−90 Freddy's Nightmares Executive producer
2016−19 Shadowhunters Executive producer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Robert Shaye Biography".
  2. ^ a b c DiGiacomo, Frank (February 4, 2009). "The Lost Tycoons". Vanity Fair.
  3. ^ a b c Sheridan, Patricia (June 1, 2015). "Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Lin Shaye". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  4. ^ "Celebrity Jews". J. The Jewish News of Northern California. March 23, 2007. “Last Mimzy” is from a sci-fi story that was a childhood favorite of director Robert Shaye. The screenplay is by seasoned Jewish writers Toby Emmerich and Bruce Joel Rubin (who won an Oscar for his script for “Ghost’). Shaye told the Detroit Jewish News that he met Emmerich when they were kids attending a Conservative synagogue in suburban Detroit
  5. ^ Busch, Anita (March 16, 2016). "Robert Shaye And Michael Lynne Pair For New Film 'Gifted'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2017.

External links[edit]