Frank Darabont (born on January 28, 1959) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer.
He was born in a refugee camp in Montbeliard, France. His parents fled Hungary after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. When he was still an infant, his family moved to the United States, where he has remained.
By the age of 20, Darabont became involved in filmmaking. One of his first films was a short adaptation of Stephen King's "The Woman in the Room", which made the semi-finalist list for Academy Award consideration in 1983. This short "Dollar Baby" led to a close association with Stephen King, who granted him the "handshake deal" rights to another of his shorter works, "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" which appeared in the collection Different Seasons. Darabont made his feature length directorial debut with Buried Alive (1990), a TV movie for the USA cable network. He became famous, however, after making good on the "handshake deal" with Stephen King and writing and directing The Shawshank Redemption (1994) for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Writing an Adapted Screenplay. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, however, he was not nominated for the Oscar for Best Director.
Prior to his directing career, Darabont was a highly successful and sought after screenwriter with exceptional work on otherwise cheap genre films that included: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Blob and The Fly II. Darabont followed with an extended run as writer for George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's short-lived television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
After a five-year hiatus, Darabont returned to the screen with the extremely well-received The Green Mile, a film he directed, scripted, and produced. Like The Shawshank Redemption, this film is also based on a novel by Stephen King. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and Darabont was nominated for his second Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay, but again not for Best Director. He followed this with The Majestic two years later in 2001 to considerably less fanfare in addition to criticism from audiences and critics for the too heavy-handed Frank Capra-like story and performances.
Frank Darabont is considered one of the most talented writers in Hollywood, and he is known to have doctored the scripts of two Steven Spielberg films (namely Saving Private Ryan and Minority Report).
In 2005, Cemetery Dance Publications published Darabont's novella "Walpuski's Typewriter" in a limited edition. The story, originally written in his early twenties, first appeared in Jessie Horsting's magazine Mignight Graffiti.