Adam Michael Shankman, born November 27, 1964, is a 53-year-old director and choreographer on Glee.
He has been a judge on the television program So You Think You Can Dance since Season 3. He began his professional career in musical theater, and was a dancer in music videos for Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson. Shankman has choreographed numerous films as well as one of the Spice Girls' tours. He has directed several feature-length films, including A Walk to Remember, Bringing Down the House, and the 2007 remake of Hairspray.
Shankman was born in Los Angeles, California, to an upper-middle-class family. He has said that he had a "traditional Jewish upbringing" in Brentwood. He attended The Juilliard School, but dropped out to dance in musical theater.
Shankman was a dancer in Janet Jackson's “Amazing” video, as well as in a MC Skat Kat video with Paula Abdul. Shankman broke into professional choreography in a 1989 music video for rapper MC Shan with director Julien Temple. When the hired choreographer fell through, Shankman lied and said that he had done choreography for Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. He was hired on the spot without his story being verified. Shankman began choreographing movies that included actors such as Marlon Brando, Sarah Jessica Parker, Antonio Banderas, and the cast of Boogie Nights. He is Brendan Fraser's exclusive choreographer.
In 1996, Shankman was represented by the newly formed Sauce Entertainment, a production company for music videos and commercial production. In 1998, he was a choreographer for the program Win Ben Stein's Money.
Prior to directing Hairspray, Shankman was known in Hollywood primarily as a script doctor. His trademarks in his films often features a singing/dancing sequence and a character getting sent to do community service. "I've done so many things I'm not super-proud of," he admitted in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. Having finally received a plum directing role in Hairspray, he added, "Now that I'm finally really proud of something, if [critics] say this one isn't good either, it will be kind of...taxing." In August 2008, Box office Mojo reported that Hairspray had become the fourth-largest grossing American movie musical within the previous 30 years.
Shankman, in affiliation with ABC, worked on a TV pilot called Harmony about a musical town. In 2008, in the wake of former small-town mayor Sarah Palin's emergence on the national political stage, Shankman was announced as director for the proposed TV series Cadillac Ranch about the female mayor of a small town. He directed the 2012 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages for New Line Cinema. With Bill Mechanic, Shankman was one of the two producers of the 82nd Academy Awards, which took place March 7, 2010.
Shankman has also directed and choreographed multiple episodes of Fox's Glee.
Shankman is openly gay. He officiated the wedding of actors Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar, a good friend of his with whom he worked while choreographing Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He got the Buffy job based on Sarah's recommendation to the show's creator, Joss Whedon.
|1983||The Wind in the Willows||Actor|
|The Red Shoes||Actor|
|1992||The Gun In Betty Lou's Handbag||Choreographer, Actor|
|1993||Weekend at Bernie's II||Choreographer|
|Heart and Souls||Choreographer|
|Addams Family Values||Choreographer|
|Don Juan DeMarco||Choreographer|
|1995||Monster Mash: The Movie||Actor|
|George of the Jungle||Choreographer|
|A Life Less Ordinary||Choreographer|
|Scream 2||Choreographer, Actor|
|1999||She's All That||Choreographer|
|Blast from the Past||Choreographer|
|Forces of Nature||Choreographer|
|Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo||Choreographer|
|2000||Isn't She Great||Choreographer|
|Mission to Mars||Choreographer|
|2001||The Wedding Planner||Director, Choreographer|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer||Choreographer|
|2002||A Walk to Remember||Director, Actor|
|Catch Me If You Can||Choreographer|
|2003||Bringing Down the House||Director. Producer|
|Stuck on You||Choreographer, Actor|
|2005||The Pacifier||Director, Producer, Actor|
|Cheaper by the Dozen 2||Director, Actor|
|2006||Step Up||Producer, Choreographer, Actor|
|Worst Week of My Life||Director|
|Hairspray||Director, Choreographer, Actor|
|2008||Step Up 2: The Streets||Producer, Choreographer|
|Bedtime Stories||Director, Producer|
|Zac Efron's Pool Party||Director, Producer|
|Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special||Director, Producer|
|2010||The 82nd Annual Academy Awards||Director, Choreographer|
|The Last Song||Producer|
|Step Up 3D||Producer|
|Going the Distance||Producer|
|2012||Rock of Ages||Director, Choreographer|