Biography

David Paul Kirkpatrick

David Paul Kirkpatrick -- an American film producer, studio executive and writer.

Kirkpatrick is perhaps most famous for his career at Paramount Pictures where he started as a story editor, oversaw the studio's exclusive development deal with Eddie Murphy and eventually became President of the Motion Picture Group. Kirkpatrick was also the first motion picture executive to be chief of production at two studios at the same time when he ran Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures.

Kirkpatrick sold his first screenplay to Paramount at the age of 17 while still in high school and was teaching screenwriting at California Institute of the Arts at the age of 18 where he received his bachelor's degree in 1974. Kirkpatrick's screenplay Dynamite Woman was produced in 1976 and distributed by New World Pictures. Shortly after, he took a position in the story department at Paramount Pictures. Kirkpatrick worked his way up the ranks at Paramount making his name by overseeing Paramount's exclusive development deal with Eddie Murphy. The arrangement was the most successful of its kind in over 50 years in Hollywood and created several huge hits including the $234 million blockbuster Beverly Hills Cop, still the third highest grossing R-rated film of all time.

During his years at Paramount, Kirkpatrick oversaw the successful Indiana Jones and Star Trek franchises, box office hits like Top Gun (1986), Ghost (1990), and The Hunt for Red October (1990), and award winning films like Witness (1985), Terms of Endearment (1983), and Reds (1981).

While at Paramount, David worked under legendary industry executives Barry Diller, Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg. Both Kirkpatrick and Katzenberg were involved in the development of Coming to America (1988) and the subsequent Buchwald v. Paramount breach of contract lawsuit. The case is considered a watershed decision in reforming "Hollywood accounting" and net profit formulas and was chronicled in the 1992 book Fatal Subtraction.

Kirkpatrick was also instrumental in replacing Hunt for Red October star Alec Baldwin with Harrison Ford in the Jack Ryan franchise.

David Kirkpatrick produced the 1996 HBO film Rasputin that won the Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series of Motion Picture Made for Television. Alan Rickman won both the Emmy and the Golden Globe for his title performance role in the mini-series. Kirkpatrick also produced The Opposite of Sex, which received the 1999 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. In 2007, he became the first recipient of the "David Award" the lifetime achievement award from Regent University for "redemptive work" in the entertainment field.