The Sixth Sense
One of the Hollywood’s most successful producers who began his career as location manager or associate producer on the writer/director Peter Bogdanovich films like The Last Picture Show (1971), What’s Up, Doc? (1972) and Paper Moon (1973), and film director, Frank Marshall has been linked to an imposing percentage of the highest grossing American films. With Amblin Entertainment, the production company he founded with Steven Spielberg and wife Kathleen Kennedy in 1984, he has been responsible for such films as the Indiana Jones trilogy: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, earned an Oscar nod for Best Picture), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doo (1984) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), the popular Michael J. Fox starring vehicle Back to the Future series (1985, 1989, and 1990), Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985), The Color Purple (1985, received next Academy Award nod), Empire of the Sun (1987), Robert Zameckis’ Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988, won a David di Donatello Award), Always (1989) and Hook (1991). Then through the Marshall/Kennedy Company, a film production company formed in 1992, which presently has a contract with Universal Pictures, one of the Hollywood’s most successful producers, Marshall, has produced films like the highly successful thriller The Sixth Sense (1991, netted third Oscar nod, in addition to a BAFTA and an AFI nominations), Snow Falling on Cedars (1999), A Map of the World (1999), Signs (2002), the Gary Ross-directed Seabiscuit (2003, picked up fourth Oscar nomination and a PGA Golden Laurel nomination), The Bourne Identity (2002) and The Bourne Supremacy (2004), Mr. 3000 (2004), Roving Mars (2006) and Hoot (2006).
“I love supporting a director’s vision, but sometimes if I get passionate about a story, I want to be the storyteller - as in Eight Below.”
As a director, Marshall had his first taste of directing motion picture with the 1990 comedy/thriller Arachnophobia, which brought him a Saturn nomination. He also helmed 1993’s Alive: The Miracle of the Andes, 1995’s Congo (earned a Saturn nomination), and more recently 2006’s Eight Below, starring Paul Walker. The recipient of the 1982 ShoWest Convention Producer of the Year also has served as second unit director on a number of movies, including Bogdanovich’s Noises Off (1992).
Childhood and Family:
Son of composer Jack Marshall, Frank Marshall was born on September 13, 1946, in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, California, in 1964, where Anthony Zerbe and Paul Lemat were his schoolmates, and studied political science at the University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, graduating in 1968. At UCLA, Frank was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
Frank is married to Kathleen Kennedy. They have worked together since 1984.
Frank Marshall got his start on entertainment industry as a protégé of writer/director Peter Bogdanovich, then a film critic, whom he met in 1967, at a birthday party for the daughter of director John Ford, a Marshall family friend. He invited Marshall, who at the time was an undergrad at UCLA, to work in various capacities including building and decorating sets and appearing in a bit part on the production crew of Bogdanovich’s first directorial film, Target (1968). After receiving his degree, he traveled throughout Europe and planned to attend law school upon his return. Instead of continuing his studies, he rejoined Bogdanovich for the director’s signature film The Last Picture Show (1971), where he served as location manager as well as portraying the character Tommy Logan, and stayed with the same capacity for Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc? (1972) and Bud Yorkin’s The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973) before earning his first credit as a line producer with 1972’s The Other Side of the Wind, directed and written by Orson Welles. The following year saw Marshall as an associate producer for Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon, and in 1979, he received his first executive producer credit in the Walter Hill-helmed The Warriors.
Marshall’s breakthrough came along in 1981, when he began partnership with director Steven Spielberg as producer of the Oscar winner Raiders of the Lost Ark, a 1981 adventure film starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones where Marshall also appeared in a bit part as a pilot in the opening sequence. The film brought Marshall an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Raiders of the Lost Ark also marked Marshall’s first affiliation with writer George Lucas and his producer-wife Kathleen Kennedy, in addition to Spielberg.
Three years later, in 1984, Marshall, with Kennedy and Spielberg, co-founded Amblin Entertainment, one of the industry’s most prolific and lucrative production companies. He then executive produced the installment Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doo (1984), Gremlins (1984), Fandango (1985), The Goonies (1985) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). He also served as production executive for Robert Zemeckis’ well-liked Back to the Future (1985), sharing with Kennedy and Spielberg. It was also in 1985 that Marshall gained his next Oscar nomination for his work on the Danny Glover-Whoopi Goldberg vehicle The Color Purple, directed by Steven Spielberg. The producer shared the Best Picture nod with Spielberg, Kennedy and Quincy Jones.
Marshall maintained his hectic schedule for the remainder of the decade. He produced the Steven Spielberg-directed Empire of the Sun (1987) and Always (1989) and rejoined Zameckis as a producer of his animation movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), where Marshall took home a 1989 David di Donatello for Best Producer – Foreign. He also executive produced the last trilogy Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and the second sequel Back to the Future Part II (1989). As an executive producer of the 1989 drama/comedy Dad, starring Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson and directed by Gary David Goldberg, he won a Wise Owl for Television and Theatrical Film Fiction from the 1990 Retirement Research Foundation. During the 1980s, on the small screen, Marshall also served as production executive on multiple “Making of...”specials about his high-profile Spielberg projects.
After executive producing such films as Joe Versus the Volcano, Back to the Future Part III and Roller Coaster Rabbit (all 1990), Marshall made his film directorial debut in 1990’s Arachnophobia, an enjoyably old-fashioned comedy-thriller about toxic spiders on the movable in suburbia, which earned him a Saturn nod for Best Director. He had previously served as second unit director on many films. Marshall left Amblin in 1991 and founded The Kennedy/Marshall Company with his spouse the next year. Still in 1992, he rejoined long-term collaborator Bogdanovich for Noises Off, where he served as producer and second unite director. Marshall made his TV directing debut a year later with the CBS series “Johnny Bago,” a fantastically weird satire of “The Fugitive” and the like, which he executive produced with Robert Zemeckis. Marshall directed his next movie Alive, a joint production of Paramount and Touchstone, that same year, but it was his behind-the-scene-effort in Congo (1995), also an executive producer, that won Marshall his second Saturn nomination.
After Congo, Marshall jointly directed the miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon” (1998), as well as produced the movies The Indian in the Cupboard (1995), Scott Hicks’ Snow Falling on Cedars (1999) and A Map of the World (1999). He also produced the blockbuster smash hit thriller The Sixth Sense (1999), with his wife, which earned an Academy Award nod for Best Picture, a BAFTA Film nod for Best Film and an Australian Film Institute nod for Best Foreign Film. Directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan, the film starred Bruce Willis and child star Haley Joel Osment.
Marshall reunited with Shyamala for 2002’s Signs, and executive produced the Matt Damon vehicle The Bourne Identity, directed by Doug Liman, that same year. With his wife and director Gary Ross, the producer enjoyed success with Seabiscuit (2003) when the film picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and a PGA Golden Laurel nod for Motion Picture Producer of the Year. Based on a true story, the film also netted a Golden Globe nomination for Best Dramatic Picture. He continued to produce/executive produce The Young Black Stallion (2003), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), Mr. 3000 (2004), Roving Mars (2006) and Hoot (2006). 2006 also saw Marshall return to the director’s chair in Eight Below, an adventure movie starring Paul Walker where Marshall also served as production executive.
Currently, 61-year-old Marshall is busy producing the movies The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), Crossing Over (2007), Emma’s War (2007), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2008), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Indiana Jones 4 (2008) and Jurassic Park IV (2008). He is also the producer of the TV miniseries “The Talisman” (2008) and the untitled Lance Armstrong Project (2007).