Born on 14th May 1952 in Chicago, Robert Zemeckis first began shooting 8mm movies when still in school, making short films before going first to the Northern Illinois University then switching to the famous University of Southern California (USC).
Zemeckis' first feature was 1978's "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", which he wrote and directed. It brought him to Steven Spielberg's attention. Spielberg called the film "highly stylised" and began working with Zemeckis on movie ideas. From that small story about The Beatles going to appear on "The Ed Sullivan Show", he moved on to direct and co-write "Used Cars", from an idea by Spielberg.
His co-writer on "Used Cars" was Bob Gale and it was the beginning of numerous successful collaborations, with the exception of the script they wrote (with John Milius) for Steven Spielberg's 1979 bomb "1941".
After directing the hit "Romancing the Stone" in 1984, Zemeckis reunited with Gale for "Back to the Future". The film marked the beginning of Zemeckis' now trademark style of working on films with impressive special effects that have some substance along with the style.
After the minor blip of "Death Becomes Her" in 1992, his greatest box office of the 90s came with "Forrest Gump", a film which won him the Best Director Oscar for 1994. 1997's "Contact" received mixed reviews but his latest film "What Lies Beneath" broke the $100,000,000 mark in the US alone, while his next film, the desert island drama "Cast Away" was shot in two parts to allow actor Tom Hanks to lose weight for his role as a lone survivor.