David R. Ellis

David R. Ellis Photo


Date of Birth: September 8, 1952

David R. Ellis first entered the world of filmmaking when he landed a role in the Disney movie The Strongest Man in the World (1975), starring Kurt Russell. A successful competitive junior pro surfer, he also began getting jobs as a stunt man, starting with the feature Bound For Glory (1976). He continued to both act and do stunts until 1989, by which time he took on a new role as a second unit director on films such as Fatal Attraction (1987) and retired from acting. Over the years, Ellis worked on many major Hollywood films, including Patriot Games (1992), on which he doubled as a stunt co-ordinator and second unit director. In 1996, he retired as a stuntman after doing the feature Harriet the Spy, but made his directing debut with Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco. The film starred Sally Field and Michael J. Fox and grossed over $100 million, which was quite an accomplishment for a first-time director.

Ellis continued to work as a second unit director on major motion pictures such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (2003), before directing his second feature, Final Destination 2 (2003). He has completed his third feature as a director, the thriller Cellular (2004), starring Kim Basinger.

In his spare time, Ellis enjoyed surfing and playing volleyball. He was found dead at the age of 60 in January 2013 in a hotel room bathroom in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was working on Kite, a remake of the 1998 Japanese anime film that was to star Snakes on a Plane actor Samuel L. Jackson.

Filmography (director):

Shark Night 3D (2011)
The Final Destination (2009)
Asylum (2007)
Snakes on a Plane (2006)
Cellular (2004)
Final Destination 2 (2003)
Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996)

Filmography (actor):

The Bounty Hunter (1989)
Blind Fury (1989)
The Mighty Quinn (1989)
Anna (1987)
Rocky III (1982)
Boardwalk (1979)
Heroes (1977)
The Strongest Man in the World (1975)