Born on 10 September 1958 in Spangler, Pennsylvania, Christopher Columbus was the son of a factory worker and an aluminium miner. He was educated in Ohio at John F Kennedy High School, later studying at the Tisch School in New York University’s film department, where he was a classmate of Charlie Kaufman.
Columbus’s first job within the industry was as a screenwriter with Amblin Entertainment, where he worked on Gremlins, The Goonies and Young Indiana Jones. He was brought on board to write for Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade by Steven Spielberg, but was fired by George Lucas after his dissatisfaction with the script. He later created Galaxy High, although directorial debut was with Adventures In Babysitting, in 1987.
Columbus’s career then took off as a director. His later repertoire included Home Alone and its sequel, Lost In New York, Mrs Doubtfire and Bicentennial Man among others. The films that later catapulted him into super stardom were, of course the first two Harry Potter films. Columbus’s credits since then include Rent, I Love You Beth Cooper, and Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Married in 1983, Columbus has four children, one of whom appeared as Susan Bones in the Harry Potter films.