Family & Companions
Writer/director Mark Frost teamed with David Lynch to create one of the most popular cult television programs in history, the surreal "Twin Peaks" (ABC, 1990-91), while also penning several feature films, including "Fantastic Four" (2005) and a series of popular mystery novels and non-fiction sports history books. The New York native got his start in television in the late 1970s, earning an Emmy nomination for "Hill Street Blues" (NBC, 1981-87) before teaming with Lynch for two proposed feature film projects. Neither came to fruition, but the pair conceived a complex story and array of characters that would comprise "Twin Peaks." A huge critical success, the series' small but ardent fan club was unable to save it from cancellation, though Frost and Lynch would try to provide a summation with the 1992 feature "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me." During this period, Frost began writing books and generated a string of best-sellers that included the mystery-thriller The List of Seven (1993) and The Greatest Game Ever Played(2002), a non-fiction history book that became a feature film in 2005. He continued to mine success in features and publishing into the new millennium before thrilling "Twin Peaks" fans in 2014 by announcing a limited revival of the series for Showtime. Frost's large and varied body of work, which touched on a variety of genres, underscored his continuing status as one of the most prolific and acclaimed writers in multiple mediums.
Born November 22, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, Mark Frost was the son of theater professor and actor Warren Frost; his sister, Lindsay, later became a character actress in features and television, while his brother, Scott, wrote episodes of "Twin Peaks" as well as a series of mystery novels. Raised in Los Angeles, California, Frost and his family relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he studied and worked at the famed Guthrie Theater while in high school. He studied acting, directing and playwriting at Carnegie Mellon University before returning to Los Angeles to try his hand in the television industry. Frost made his debut as a writer for "The Six Million Dollar Man" (ABC, 1974-78) before joining the writing staff of "Hill Street Blues" in 1982. He netted an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for the critically acclaimed 1984 episode "Grace Under Pressure," which shared with Stephen Bochco, David Milch, Michael I. Wagner and Jeff Lewis, before departing the series the following year. While working on episodes of "The Equalizer" (CBC, 1985-89), Frost teamed with David Lynch to work on a film script about the life of Marilyn Monroe for Warner Bros. The project never came to pass, and after a subsequent effort, "One Saliva Bubble," also failed to germinate, Lynch's agent, Tony Krantz, suggested that the pair try their hand at a television series about small town America in the vein of the director's "Blue Velvet" (1986).
After screening "Peyton Place" (1957), Frost and Lynch began to develop an idea about a lumber mill town where a body is discovered on the shore of a lake. These bare bones would become the launching pad for "Twin Peaks," an offbeat hybrid of Lynch's skewed arthouse sensibilities with elements of a murder mystery, supernatural thriller and the behind-closed-doors scandals of "Peyton Place." Debuting on ABC in 1990, the series earned a cult following for its blend of satiric comedy and surrealism shot through with disturbingly dark undertones. It was also a major critical hit, earning a Golden Globe for Best TV Series - Drama, as well as 14 Emmy nominations, of which it won for Outstanding Costume Design and Outstanding Editing.
Unfortunately, "Twin Peaks" was never a ratings success, and the network canceled the program after a second season that many fans found inferior to the first. Lynch and Frost reunited the following year for the comedy "On the Air" (ABC, 1992), about the cast and crew of a bizarre variety program in the 1950s, but the series was pilloried by critics and pulled from the network lineup after three episodes. The pair then attempted to offer a companion to "Twin Peaks" with the theatrical film "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me" (1992), but the end results proved more confusing than the series, and resulted in a quick exit from the box office. That same year, Frost made his feature directorial debut on "Storyville," a political thriller starring James Spader.
In 1993, Frost made his debut as a novelist with The List of Seven, a supernatural thriller with conspiracy overtones about Sherlock Holmes' creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, investigating a series of murders linked to a plot to overthrow the British Crown. An international best seller, it was followed by a sequel, The Six Messiahs (1995) and a thriller, Before I Wake, which Frost wrote under the pseudonym of Eric Bowman. In the late '90s, Frost returned to television, creating and writing the comic detective series "Buddy Faro" (CBS, 1998) for Dennis Farina and the horror-drama "All Souls" (UPN, 2001). Neither programs lasted beyond a single season, prompting Frost to return to publishing. In 2002, he wrote the best-selling non-fiction work The Greatest Game Ever Played: A True Story, about the 1913 showdown between golf amateur Francis Ouimet and reigning champion Harry Vardon. He subsequently wrote the script for the feature film version in 2005, the same year he was tapped by Fox and Marvel Comics to pen "The Fantastic Four" (2005) with Michael France. A major hit, it was followed by "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" (2007), which also performed well at the box office, but took a critical drubbing.
During this active period, Frost published two more works about the history of golf - The Grand Slam (2006), about the legendary Bobby Jones, and The Match (2007), which concerned a private game in 1956 which pitted two amateur golfers against professional champions Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson. Both were best sellers, with The Match going on to become one of the best-selling books about golf in publishing history. After penning Game Six (2009), about the 1975 World Series, Frost returned to fiction with The Paladin Prophecy (2012), the first entry in a proposed trilogy of science fiction novels for young adult readers. The second in the series, Alliance: The Paladin Prophecy, was released in 2013, one year before Frost drew international attention by announcing that he would reunite with Lynch for a nine-episode revival of "Twin Peaks" for Showtime in 2016.
Director (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
First collaboration with David Lynch, writing a script for a feature film, "Goddess" (about Marilyn Monroe), never produced
Wrote and produced first feature, "The Believers"
Writer, executive producer and director for the documentary series "American Chronicles"
Writer and executive producer for the short-lived TV series "On the Air"
First executive producer credit for a feature film, "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me"
Made feature directorial debut with "Storyville"
Wrote first novel, "The List of 7"
Writes the box office hit "Fantastic Four"