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Sleepwalkers DVD "Sleepwalkers" (1992) is a horror gore-fest based on Stephen King's first... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Creepshow DVD Two masters of horror unite for this collection of chilling tales. Stephen King... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Altered States DVD It's the film that made a star out of William Hurt and has us all rethinking... more info $4.99was $5.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: John Swithen, Richard Bachman Died:
Born: September 21, 1947 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Portland, Maine, USA Profession: novelist, screenwriter, actor, director, producer, laborer in an industrial laundry, teacher, lecturer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

With sales of over 300 million copies of more than 70 books, plus dozens of stories adapted for film and television, Stephen King was the dominant American storyteller for over 25 years. While King wrote in a wide variety of genres, from the coming-of-age short story The Body (1982) to the psychological thriller Misery (1987), King was most closely associated with horror and fantasy stories with supernatural elements. A great storyteller with an eye for detail and an accessible narrative tone, King always grounded his fantastic elements in recognizable environments, while his demons often highlighted the rocky emotional dynamics of families and the ravages of dysfunction and addiction. Cultural critic Robin Wood once concluded that "The horrors of the King world are the horrors of our culture writ large, made visible and inescapable." With this curious but huge appeal, the name Stephen King became a powerful brand that sold books and film tickets, even though his name attachment to a film was hardly a guarantee of a good movie. Among the best King-based feature films were Brian De Palma's "Carrie" (1976), David Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone" (1983), Rob Reiner's "Stand by Me" (1986), Stanley Kubrick's...

With sales of over 300 million copies of more than 70 books, plus dozens of stories adapted for film and television, Stephen King was the dominant American storyteller for over 25 years. While King wrote in a wide variety of genres, from the coming-of-age short story The Body (1982) to the psychological thriller Misery (1987), King was most closely associated with horror and fantasy stories with supernatural elements. A great storyteller with an eye for detail and an accessible narrative tone, King always grounded his fantastic elements in recognizable environments, while his demons often highlighted the rocky emotional dynamics of families and the ravages of dysfunction and addiction. Cultural critic Robin Wood once concluded that "The horrors of the King world are the horrors of our culture writ large, made visible and inescapable." With this curious but huge appeal, the name Stephen King became a powerful brand that sold books and film tickets, even though his name attachment to a film was hardly a guarantee of a good movie. Among the best King-based feature films were Brian De Palma's "Carrie" (1976), David Cronenberg's "The Dead Zone" (1983), Rob Reiner's "Stand by Me" (1986), Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" (1980), which took more liberties than King was happy with, and Frank Darabont's "The Shawshank Redemption" (1995). The prolific writer's output diminished somewhat following serious injuries he sustained in a 1999 roadside accident, but just as throughout his career, every new novel was highly anticipated, topped the bestseller lists, and usually found its way to the screen as a feature film or television miniseries that drew consistently strong audiences.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Maximum Overdrive (1986) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Thinner (1996) Pharmacist
2.
 Stephen King's Sleepwalkers (1992) Cemetery Caretaker
3.
 Pet Sematary (1989) Minister
4.
 Creepshow 2 (1987) Truck Driver ("The Hitchhiker")
5.
 Creepshow (1982) Jordy Verrill ("The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill")
7.
 Stephen King: Master of Macabre (1999) Interviewee
9.
 Fear in the Dark (1991)
10.
 Stephen King's Rose Red (2002) Pizza Guy
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1949:
Family deserted by father, Donald King; went out one night for a pack of cigarettes and never returned
1949:
Moved with mother and brother around the country; lived in New York, Illinois; Wisconsin, Indiana and Connecticut
1954:
Wrote first short story at age seven
1958:
Moved to Durham, ME and remained for the rest of his childhood
1959:
Discovered a box of his father's books, fantasy and horror fiction; obtained a typewriter and began writing fantasy fiction
1965:
First published story, "I Was a Teenage Grave Robber," in a comic book fan magazine <i>Comics Review</i>
:
Worked on first unpublished novel, "The Aftermath"
1967:
First professional short story publication, "The Glass Floor," in <i>Startling Mystery Stories</i>
1970:
Worked as a laborer in an industrial laundry after graduating college
:
Worked as a high school teacher of English at Hampden Academy, Hampden ME
1973:
Submitted manuscript of his fourth novel, "Carrie," to Doubleday, which purchased it; first published novel
1973:
Sold paperback rights to New American Library; quit teaching job to write full-time
1976:
First film based on a King novel, Brian De Palma's "Carrie"
1978:
Served as judge for 1977 World Fantasy Awards
1979:
First TV miniseries based on a King novel, Tobe Hooper's "Salem's Lot"
1980:
Acting debut in George A. Romero's "Knightriders"
1980:
Stanley Kubrick's production of "The Shining" released
1982:
First screenplay, George A. Romero's "Creepshow"
1982:
First substantial acting role: portrayed title character in "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill," a segment of "Creepshow"
1986:
Feature directorial debut, "Maximum Overdrive" (also scripted); only directing credit to date
1986:
First original teleplay, "Sorry, Right Number," for the syndicated "Tales from the Darkside"
:
Helped form the Maine Film Commission
1989:
Signed a four-book deal with Viking Press for a reported $35 million
1991:
First TV credit as creator and executive producer, "Stephen King's Golden Years," a NBC sci-fi drama serial (also wrote several episodes)
:
Left Viking/Penguin, his publisher of over 20 years
1997:
Signed three-book contract with Simon & Schuster
:
Formed Philtrum Press
1998:
Co-wrote script for an episode of the hit Fox drama "The X-Files"
1999:
Injured when struck by a car while walking on a road in Maine; underwent surgery to repair broken leg and hip and punctured lung (June); King bought the van which struck him for $1,500 in September
2002:
Penned script for the ABC miniseries "Rose Red"
2002:
Retired from writing novels
2004:
Made TV series debut as writer of "Kingdom Hospital," a drama loosely based on Lars von Trier's film of the same name
2004:
Executive produced "Riding the Bullet" based on his novel by the same name
2005:
Signed a deal with Marvel Comics, to publish a seven-issue, miniseries spinoff of "The Dark Tower" series called <i>The Gunslinger Born</i>; first issue was published on Feb. 7, 2007
2007:
The novel <i>Blaze</i>, which was written in the early 1970s, under his long-time pseudonym Richard Bachman, was published
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of Maine, Orono: Orano , Maine - 1966 - 1970

Notes

His official website is located at www.stephenking.com

King used the pseudonym Richard Bachman for six novels: "Rage", "The Long Walk", "Roadwork", "The Running Man", "Thinner" and "The Regulators". The latter was publicized as a "lost novel" by the author who "died of cancer of the pseudonym" in 1985.

The late Tom Allen stated the opinion of many King fans regarding Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson's somewhat peverse adaptation of "The Shining" in a review entitled "Hatchet Job" in a June 1980 issue of Village Voice: "What is clear is that the novel's 'credible' explanations have been ripped out. These include Jack's psychological weaknesses and his susceptibility to evil suggestion; Wendy's crucial lack of trust; Danny's special gift for intuiting danger AND acting upon it; and (How could it be ignored?) the Overlook's lust to add Danny's second sight, his 'shining' to its powers."

"Somewhere in the early days, before anyone much had heard of him...King reached the conscious decision to modify his writing style, so as to make money. And this has had startling if in a sense imponderable consequences.

" . . . There was a time when Stephen King had a style significantly different from any style he uses today. Because there is more to it than there would be in the case of the average or even merely extraordinary writer, for whom style is a matter of word choice. For Stephen King, the over-riding factor in his "style" is a matter of plot choice--the words follow from the choice of plot, since he has about six radically different plots, six more or less different sets of word choices." --From "Stephen King" by Algis Budrys in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, December 1990

"One is bowled over by Stephen King's prodigious capacity to milk every situation for its dramatic possibilities, by his ability to line up vast landscapes of dominoes whose toppling will concatenate catastrophically, and by his sheer inventive energy." --Christopher Lehmann-Haupt in his The New York Times review of "Needful Things", October 3, 1991)

"... King has a remarkable eye and feeling for the lives of ordinary Americans and the places they live. They're the people you might see buying a McDonald's hamburger, or at a local baseball game, or your neighborhood hardware store. And indeed, that's a key to understanding King's way. He has carried on what Ray Bradbury pioneered: his stories are about identifiable people whose lives are altered by paranormal events and forces. His characters and their worlds ring uncannily right, and he involves one intensely in their predicaments. ..." --Kirby McCauley, editor of "Dark Forces" (New York: The Viking Press, 1980)

"... [novelist Michelle Slung in a positive review of King's work in The New Republic] has a point when she touches on the propensity of a small but influential element of the literary establishment to ghettoize horror and fantasy and instantly relegate them beyond the pale of so-called serious literature. I'm sure those critics' nineteenth-century precursors would have contemptuously dismissed Poe as the great American hack." --Stephen King in a 1983 Playboy interview reprinted in "Bare Bones: Conversations on Terror with Stephen King", Tim Underwood and Chuck Miller, Editors

"... The problem goes beyond my particular genre. That little elite which is clustered in the literary magazines and book-review sections of influential newspapers and magazines on both coasts, assumes that ALL popular literature must also, by definition, be bad literature. Those criticisms are not really against bad writing; they're against an entire type of writing. MY type of writing, as it turns out. Those avatars of high culture hold it almost as an article of religious faith that plot and story must be subordinated to style, whereas my deeply held conviction is that story must be paramount, because it defines the entire work of fiction. All other considerations are secondary--theme, mood, even characterization and language." --Stephen King in Playboy 1983

"Most of all, I think that trapped inside King is one of the finest writers of our time. I think he understands that, though he be wrong about when and where that writer emerges, and he may or, more likely, may not, understand what he gave up in order to be a moneymaker on this gigantic scale. Most of all, I think he has done an almost unthinkable thing; he has not narrowed down, but rather has expanded the definition of what he is as a writer, to the point where he can say, as no one else can, that he has tried everything, and made it work in some sense." --From "Stephen King" by Algis Budrys in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, December 1990

"The novels are a battleground on which the central conflict of our civilization (rather than, as King himself might put it, the eternal struggle between good and evil), the conflict between repressive `normality' and the drives that normality seeks to repress, is fought out (and, so far, neither definitively won or lost--typically in the novels BOTH sides lose.) ... On the conscious level--the level at which the author asserts what HE means to say, in contradistinction to what the texts he produces say--the novels are, for all their liberal critique of Reaganite America, plainly reactionary. ... But, like much superficially reactionary work (the films of John Ford, for example), the texts generate so many internal tensions and contradictions at such a pitch of intensity that the whole repressive social/ideological structure is blown wide open, its monstrousness revealed." --From "Cat and Dog: Lewis Teague's Stephen King Movies" by Robin Wood in Cineaction!, No. 2, Fall 1985

"Before Stephen King charged into pop culture, Maine filmmaking was virtually dead until the Maine resident and novelist achieved the power and national status to make it happen. King has sent a message, loud and clear, to Hollywood: if you want to make films from my books, you're going to make a few of them in Maine."

Before King's contractual stipulation forced a segment of "Creepshow 2" ["The Hitchhiker"] to be filmed in Bangor, Maine, in 1987, you have to go back thirty years to find another Maine-based production, "Peyton Place" in 1957, and before that, "Captains Courageous" in 1937, both filmed in Camden. Since "Creepshow 2", King has brought to Maine the filming of "Pet Sematary" in 1988 and "Graveyard Shift" this year (1991)." --From "Stephen King: Shooting it in Maine" by Gary Wood in Cinefantastique, Feb. 1991, Vol. 21, No. 4

King was a judge of the 1977 World Fantasy Awards.

He was guest of Honor of the World Fantasy Convention at Providence, Rhode Island in 1979.

He was recipient of the Career Alumni Award from the University of Maine.

"There's an immediate attitude that anyone who's reaching a large popular audience-what they're doing is crap! Because the popular mind is crap! I mean, you've got these two places, Here is high literature and then you've popular fiction over here. And in between is this great big river of misunderstanding. There are a lot of people, I feel, who are dedicated to keeping the clubhouse white."- King Entertainment Weekly

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Tabitha King. Novelist. Were college sweethearts; mother of his three children; first novel, "Small World", published in 1981.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Donald King. Deserted family in 1949.
mother:
Nellie Ruth King. Died of cancer in 1973.
brother:
David King. Born c. 1945.
son:
Joe King.
daughter:
Naomi King. Born c. 1970.
son:
Owen King. Born c. 1977.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Stephen King: The Art of Darkness" NAL Books
"The Annotated Guide to Stephen King" Starmont House
"Stephen King Goes to Hollywood" New American Library
"The Stephen King Quiz Book"
"The Shape Under the Sheet: The Complete Stephen King Encyclopedia"
"Carrie" Doubleday
"Salem's Lot" Doubleday
"The Shining" Doubleday
"The Stand" Doubleday
"Night Shift" Doubleday
"The Dead Zone" Viking
"Firestarter" Viking
"Cujo" Viking
"Danse Macabre" Everest House
"Creepshow" New American Library
"The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger" Donald M Grant
"Different Seasons" Viking
"Christine" Viking
"Cycle of the Werewolf" Land of Enchantment
"Pet Sematary Doubleday
"The Talisman" Viking
"Thinner" New American Library
"Skeleton Crew" G.P. Putnam's Sons
"The Bachman Books" New American Library
"It" Viking
"Misery" Viking
"The Tommyknockers" Viking
"The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three" Donald M Grant
"The Dark Half" Viking
"Four After Midnight" Viking
"The Stand" Viking
"Needful Things" Viking
"Gerald's Game" Viking
"Delores Claiborne" Viking
"The Green Mile" Signet
"Desperation" Viking
"The Regulators" Dutton
"Bag of Bones" Scribner
"The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" Scribner
"Hearts in Atlantis" Scribner
"Blood and Smoke"
"Riding the Bullet" Simon & Schuster
"The Plant"
"On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft" Scribner
"Black House" Random House
"Everything's Individual"
"From a Buick 8"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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