David R. Ellis bigraphy, stories - Film

David R. Ellis : biography

September 8, 1952 - January 7, 2013

David Richard Ellis (September 8, 1952 – January 7, 2013) was an American film director and stuntman born in Santa Monica, California in 1952.


Following a successful career as a junior pro surfer; David Richard Ellis began his career in the film industry as a supporting actor in juvenile roles making his big screen debut in 1975 in the Kurt Russell film The Strongest Man in the World. In 1978, he got the promotion to stunt coordinator in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. After several successful years in this position, he worked from 1986 onwards as a second unit director before making his debut as a director in the Disney live-action film Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco. He is most known for directing two of the "Final Destination" films and the 2006 sensation Snakes on a Plane.

As a stunt man he was best known for his work in the movie Scarface. Other notable works as a stunt man include Fatal Attraction, Lethal Weapon, the television series Baywatch, and Patriot Games. As a second-unit director he worked on a number of well-known movies that most recently include Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Matrix Reloaded, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and Cop Out. At the time of his death, there were two works still in post-production "47 Ronin" and "R.I.P.D.", another work "Winter's Tale" was still being filmed. All three are scheduled for release in 2013.

He was perhaps best known as a director with seven titles under his belt. Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, Final Destination 2, Cellular, Snakes on a Plane, Asylum, The Final Destination, and Shark Night. At the time of his death, he was in the process of directing a live action version of the violent anime Kite.

He was nominated for the Taurus Award along with Glenn Boswell and R.A. Rondell in 2003 for his stunt coordination work on the Matrix Reloaded.http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0254786/ David Ellis IMDB

Personal life

David R. Ellis was the father of Tawny & Cheyenne Ellis - Producer and Photographer - respectively. The Grandfather to Kodiak & Ridge Ellis. The son of Richard & Andrea Ellis. The brother of Annie, Lori, & Chenoa Ellis. The father-in-law of Oakley Lehman. He was survived in death by his wife Cindy.http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0254786/ David Ellis IMDB

When Ellis was once about to be carjacked, trapped between two other cars, he used his stunt-driving prowess to whip his car out of the tiny gap and faced the carjackers, while revving his engine, scaring them enough to get back into their cars and drive away.http://smodcast.com/episodes/111-2/


On January 7, 2013, Ellis's body was found in the bathroom of his hotel room in Johannesburg, South Africa. No cause of death has been released, however, police say no foul play was suspected.



Year Film Budget Worldwide gross
1996 Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco N/A $32,772,492 (USA)
2003 Final Destination 2 $26,000,000 $90,426,405
2004 Cellular $25,000,000 $56,422,687
2006 Snakes on a Plane $33,000,000 $62,022,014
2008 Asylum $11,000,000 $69,290,289 (Russia: $519,857)
2009 The Final Destination $40,000,000 $186,167,139
2011 Shark Night $28,000,000 $40,136,479
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