Director Peter Farrelly (born December 17, 1956) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and novelist. Along with his brother Bobby, the Farrelly brothers are mostly famous for directing and producing quirky comedy and romantic comedy films such as Dumb and Dumber; Shallow Hal; Me, Myself and Irene; There's Something About Mary; and the 2007 remake of The Heartbreak Kid. On his own in 2018 Farrelly co-wrote and directed the comedy-drama Green Book, which won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2018. For his work on the film, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay and earned the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
Farrelly decided to pursue writing full-time, which prompted him to quit his job and relocate to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where he got a job as a waiter. On one of the tables he was waiting, Farrelly struck up a conversation with a writing professor from UMass Amherst, who encouraged Farrelly to apply to graduate school. Farrelly said he did not think his chances were good, considering he did poorly in college but the professor said not everything is judged by grades. With what would later be Outside Providence, Farrelly submitted the work and was pleasantly surprised that he was accepted. He studied writing for a time at UMass Amherst, but was ultimately dissatisfied with the program, and transferred to Columbia University in New York City, which Farrelly said he found very satisfying. He later became interested in screenwriting, which led him to directing. He made this career decision after many of his screenplays sold, but were not produced.
He is a published novelist, with works including Outside Providence (1988) and The Comedy Writer (1998).
Producer and director
Together with his brother, Bobby Farrelly, he has written, directed, and produced several comedy films including There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, Shallow Hal, Me, Myself & Irene, Stuck on You, and Fever Pitch. They also conceived the 1992 Seinfeld episode "The Virgin" (Season 4.Episode:10).
In 2006, Farrelly directed the Man Laws series of television commercials for the Miller Lite beer brand, which featured actor Burt Reynolds, American football player Jerome Bettis, climber Aron Ralston, and professional wrestler Triple H.
Peter worked on a film entitled, Movie 43, which was released in 2013 and produced by the siblings' long-time producer Charles B. Wessler. He produced the anthology film and directed two of its segments.
In 2012, Peter and his brother announced that the filming of Dumb and Dumber To would begin in 2013. The film was released on November 14, 2014.
In 2016, Audience announced that Loudermilk, a new half-hour scripted comedy co-created by Farrelly and Bobby Mort, would receive a straight-to-series order. In 2018, the show was renewed for season 2.
In 2018, Farrelly directed Green Book, which won the Toronto International Film Festival's People Choice Award. At the 91st Academy Awards, he won the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture.
In 2020, Farrelly directed alongside his brother, and co-wrote the Quibi comedy series The Now, starring Bill Murray, Dave Franco, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Daryl Hannah, and Jimmy Tatro.
Farrelly is a board member of Direct Sports Network (formerly DeskSite).
Philanthropy and honors
Farrelly is a long-time supporter of disability rights. In 2020, he and his brother Bobby received the Morton E. Ruderman Award for Inclusion of People with Disabilities. Past winners include Michael Phelps and Marlee Matlin. He won the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by Media Access Awards.
He lives in California, while Bobby lives in Massachusetts.
Early life and education
Farrelly was born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, to Mariann (Neary), a nurse practitioner, and Robert Leo Farrelly, a doctor. His grandparents were Irish immigrants. He was raised in Cumberland, Rhode Island. He graduated from Kent School in 1975 and from Providence College where he studied business. In 1986 he earned a master's in fine arts from Columbia University.
Awards and nominations
Farrelly won or was nominated for awards for his work in film and television, including winning two Academy Awards and winning two Golden Globe Awards out of five nominations for Green Book in 2019. He also won or was nominated for several film festival awards.
|1994||Dumb and Dumber||Yes||Yes||No|
|1998||There's Something About Mary||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2000||Me, Myself & Irene||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2001||Osmosis Jones||Yes||No||Yes||Live-action scenes|
|2003||Stuck on You||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2007||The Heartbreak Kid||Yes||Yes||No|
|2012||The Three Stooges||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2013||Movie 43||Yes||No||Yes||Segments: "The Pitch", "The Catch", "Truth or Dare";
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture
|2014||Dumb and Dumber To||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2015||Dodge Law: Speak No Evil||Yes||No||No||Short film|
|2018||Green Book||Yes||Yes||Yes||Academy Award for Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Film Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Director Nominated—The Razzie Redeemer Award
|2003||Blitt Happens||Yes||Yes||No||TV movie|
|2017–2020||Loudermilk||Yes||Yes||Yes||20 episodes aired and 10 more unaired|
|2020||The Now||Yes||Yes||No||Upcoming series|