Robert Shaye
Born Robert Kenneth Shaye
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Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Alma mater University of Michigan
Columbia Law School
Occupation Film producer, film director, writer, actor
Years active 1980s – present
Known for Founder of New Line Cinema
Spouse(s) Eva G. Lindstern (m. 1970)[1]
Children 2
Relatives Lin Shaye (sister)
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Robert Kenneth Shaye (born March 4, 1939) is an American businessman, film producer, actor, and the founder of New Line Cinema.[2]


Early lifeEdit

Shaye was born to a Jewish[3] 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 careerEdit

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 FeaturesEdit

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.[4]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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