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Donald Petrie

Donald is probably best known for the hit comedies How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey for Paramount Pictures, and Miss Congeniality starring Sandra Bullock, for Warner Bros., not to mention the holiday hit Grumpy Old Men starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret.

Most recently Petrie has crossed back to television directing episodes of the upcoming Chuck Lorre/Netflix series The Kominski Method starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, and multiple episodes of the Dick Wolf Chicago series Chicago Med and Chicago Justice which he also executive produced.

Donald directed this year’s romantic comedy Little Italy for E One starring Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen. Other feature credits include the Fox Searchlight comedy My Life In Ruins starring Nia Vardalos as a guide of the ancient Greek ruins leading the most outrageous bus tour group ever. Richard Dreyfuss heads up an international cast. The quirky comedy Just My Luck, starring Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine, the political satire-romantic comedy Welcome To Mooseport, with Ray Romano and Gene Hackman, the gender-bender comedy The Associate starring Whoopi Goldberg, Disney’s My Favorite Martian with Jeff Daniels and Christopher Lloyd - and the Orion Picture The Favor, starring Harley Kozak, Elizabeth McGovern, Bill Pullman and Brad Pitt.

Petrie began his entertainment career as an actor, appearing in many TV episodes. In 1979, Donald decided to shift his focus to directing when he was accepted as a Fellow at the American Film Institute. While there, he made a short film, The Expert that caught the eye of Steven Spielberg, who asked Donald to direct an episode of Amazing Stories. That episode, entitled “Mister Magic”, starring Sid Caesar, began Petrie’s professional directing career. Donald then began a busy period directing episodes of MacGyver, The Equalizer and the landmark Steven Bochco series L.A. Law. A controversial episode he directed for the latter entitled “The Venus Butterfly” brought Petrie both Directors Guild and Emmy nominations.

Those episodic successes prompted Samuel Goldwyn Jr. to offer Donald the chance to direct his first feature, Mystic Pizza. Both a critical and box office success, and still today a cult favorite, Mystic Pizza starred Annabeth Gish, Lili Taylor, Vincent D’Onofrio and provided Julia Roberts with her first breakthrough role. (It also gave a young Matt Damon his first onscreen appearance.) Donald has also been a proud and active member of the Directors Guild of America. Following in his father Daniel’s footsteps, Donald has served as a National Board Member, a Western Directors Council Member, and currently serves as Chairman of the Directors Guild Foundation.