Robert Shaye

Robert Kenneth Shaye is an American businessman, film producer, actor, director, and writer. He is the founder of New Line Cinema, a film production studio that distributed successful blockbuster films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Lord of the Rings. In 2008, New Line was merged with Warner Bros. Pictures.


Early life

Shaye was born to a Jewish family in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Dorothy and Max Mendle Shaye, a supermarket owner and artist. His mother was an immigrant from Russia. He is the brother of actress Lin Shaye.
Shaye graduated from Detroit's Mumford High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School. He also graduated from the University of Stockholm as a Fulbright scholar. Shaye is a member of the New York State Bar Association, and he has served on the board of trustees for the Neurosciences Institute, the Legal Aid Society, the American Film Institute, and the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.

New Line Cinema

In 1967, Shaye formed New Line Cinema. The company started with a package of feature films and shorts rented to colleges. From there, New Line expanded to re-releases such as Reefer Madness and first-run domestic distribution of foreign films such as Get Out Your Handkerchiefs. New Line famously released blockbuster films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
In 1998, when New Zealand director Peter Jackson brought his 25-minute pitch reel for a big screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy classic The Lord of the Rings to New Line, hoping to turn the three volumes into two films, Shaye suggested Jackson make three films instead. He subsequently greenlit a simultaneous production for all three installments. The Lord of the Rings was nominated a total of thirty Academy Awards, winning 17, including 11 awards for . At the box office, all three films are among New Line's highest-grossing films, earning a combined total of nearly $3 billion worldwide.

Unique Features

In June 2008, Shaye and company co-chairman Michael Lynne departed New Line and formed an independent film company, Unique Features. The company's recent projects include , the TV series Shadowhunters, When the Bough Breaks, and Ambition, directed by Shaye.


All films, he was producer unless otherwise noted.


;As an actor
1984A Nightmare on Elm StreetNewsreader / KRGR Radio AnnouncerVoice role
1986Quiet CoolFranklin
1987The HiddenMan in Silver Mercedes Picking Up a Gorgeous Girl
1991Ticket Seller
1993Loaded Weapon 1Interrogation Room Person
1993Man's Best FriendMobile Mechanic
1994Wes Craven's New NightmareHimself
2001Festival in CannesBert Shuster
2003Freddy vs. JasonPrincipal Shaye
2004CellularDetective Looking Guy

;As director
1963ImageShort film
1965On Fighting WitchesShort film
1990Book of Love
2007The Last Mimzy

;As writer
1982Alone in the DarkStory

;As cinematographer
1965On Fighting WitchesShort film

;Second unit director or assistant director
1984A Nightmare on Elm StreetDirector: melting staircase sequence

1997Boogie NightsSpecial thanks
1998Dark CityThanks
1999MagnoliaSpecial thanks
2006Kill Your DarlingsThanks
2007Run Fatboy RunThanks
2008The WomenSpecial appreciation


;As an actor
1988Freddy's NightmaresThe Minister