Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia
Spent 18 months in a seminary
Began working at age 15 as a dispatch boy for a Melbourne advertising agency (date approximate)
By age 25 he took over a Melbourne advertising agency with two partners (date approximate)
Worked as director of TV commercials
Founded The Feature Film House (later The Film House) production company
Assessed student films at Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
Film directorial debut with "The Priest" segment of anthology film, "Libido"
Feature film debut as director and producer, "The Devil's Playground"
Directed and produced most expensive film made in Austrailia up until that time, "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith"; garnered international attention
First US produced feature, "Barbarosa"
Helmed "Iceman" about an explorer who discovers a 40,000 year-old man
Directed the uneven but well-acted adaptation of David Hare's play "Plenty", starring Meryl Streep
Earned praise for his light touch on "Roxanne", Steve Martin's updated version of "Cyrano de Bergerac"
Reunited with Streep for "Evil Angels/A Cry in the Dark", based on a true life story of an Australian woman accused of murdering the child she claimed was carried off by a dingo
Returned to producing with the big screen adaptation of John Le Carre's "The Russia House"; also directed
Directed the screen adaptation of John Guare's play "Six Degrees of Separation"
Teamed Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins in the romantic comedy "I.Q.", featuring a splendidly hammy turn by Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein
Executive produced the Australian-made "That Eye, the Sky"
Shared directorial duties on "Fierce Creatures", a comedy that reunited much of the cast of "A Fish Called Wanda"
Helmed the screen version of the award-winning novel "Last Orders", featuring Bob Hoskins and Michael Caine; screened at Toronto Film Festival
Directed "It Runs in the Family," the first film teaming of Kirk Douglas and his son Michael
Produced and directed an ensemble cast, including Ed Harris, Helen Hunt and Paul Newman in "Empire Falls," the HBO adaptation of Richard Russo's novel