Gale Anne Hurd, known as the “First Lady of Sci-Fi,” is a producer of Academy Award®-winning films and Emmy®-winning programs that shatter box office and ratings records.
After climbing the ladder from Roger Corman’s executive assistant at New World Pictures to head of marketing for the company, Hurd’s career as a producer was launched when she produced and co-wrote The Terminator. The film received critical and commercial acclaim, including TIME Magazine’s “10 Best List” and was recently recognized by the Library of Congress, which chose The Terminator to be included in its esteemed National Film Registry.
This success was quickly followed by Aliens, which received seven nominations and two Academy Awards®, and the Academy Award®-winning films The Abyss; Terminator 2: Judgment Day; and The Ghost and The Darkness. Hurd’s additional feature credits include the Academy Award®- nominated Armageddon, The Incredible Hulk, Tremors, Dante’s Peak, Æon Flux, The Punisher, Dick, and The Waterdance, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature, and both the Audience and Screenplay Awards at the Sundance Film Festival.
When Hurd decided to enter the television business, she did so with a bang as Executive Producer of The Walking Dead, which currently reigns as the most-watched scripted drama, beating all broadcast and cable series among adults 18-49. The American Film Institute honored the show in both 2010 and 2012 as a Top 10 TV program. The series has also garnered two Emmy® wins and was nominated by the Television Critics Association for Program of the Year in 2012. In 2014, The Walking Dead nabbed the People’s Choice awards for Favorite Cable TV Drama and Favorite TV Anti-Hero. Hurd is also a Consulting Producer on AMC’s top-rated spinoff talk show, Talking Dead, which recently logged 5.9 million viewers, a new series high.
Hurd’s company, Valhalla Entertainment, has an overall deal with Universal Cable Productions to develop new television and digital programs. In addition to serving as an Executive Producer on the top-rated drama series, The Walking Dead, Hurd is an Executive Producer for AMC’s new companion series, Fear the Walking Dead, which received a two season order. Her newest series, Hunters, received a straight-to-series order from the SyFy network, with Natalie Chaidez (In Plain Sight and Heroes) serving as the Showrunner. Hurd is also an Executive Producer on USA Network’s new drama pilot, Falling Water, along with Showrunner Blake Masters (Brotherhood), who penned the script with the late Henry Bromell.
Hurd’s film, Very Good Girls, a coming-of-age drama turned on its head, premiered as an official selection at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Starring rising young stars Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, the film was released theatrically during the summer of 2014.
Hurd’s philanthropic focus includes her work with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on their highly anticipated Museum, which is devoted to exploring and curating the history and future of the moving image. She also serves on the Academy’s Science and Technology Council and recently completed her term on the Board of Governors. Hurd is an officer of the Producers Guild of America and chairs the Debra Hill Fellowship Committee, which supports and inspires the next generation of producers, as well as co-founding their yearly educational forum, the ‘Produced By’ Conference.
Hurd’s distinguished career has drawn the attention of her peers. This past year Hurd was awarded the prestigious David O. Selznick Award for Achievement in Motion Pictures by the Producers Guild, joining past recipients including Stanley Kramer, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Bruckheimer, Kathleen Kennedy, and Steven Spielberg. In 2012, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2013, the Cartier Award at the Deauville American Film Festival along with Cate Blanchett and Nicolas Cage. Hurd is also the recipient of the 2013 DiGamma Kappa Award for Distinguished Service in Broadcasting from Grady College at the University of Georgia, home of the Peabody Awards. Last year, she was honored with an induction into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame, which features such honorees as Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Audrey Hepburn.
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