Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro is making waves in Hollywood for his numerous Oscar wins for his film “The Shape of Water.”

But, not many know much about the famed director.

Born on Oct. 9, 1964 in Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico, del Toro was raised by his grandmother. He spent much of his teenage years developing a love for the art of film-making. He enjoyed making short films and furthering his craft while attending film school at Centro de Investigación y EstudiosCinematográficos.

Before making it big on his own, del Toro worked under famed special effect makeup artist Dick Smith, most famous for his work on the frightening set of “The Exorcist.” After working as a makeup supervisor for years, del Toro started his own directing and producing company, Necropia, in the 1980s.

His feature film was “Dona Herlinda and Her Son,” which made its debut in 1986. Del Toro focused a lot of his producing and directing projects toward Mexican television shows. The director gained a number of accolades for his movie “Cronos” from 1993. The movie won nine Ariel Awards and won the International Critics Week Prize at Cannes.


Many new del Toro fans don’t recognize some of his earlier pictures but will likely be surprised to learn about some of the movies this legendary actor did direct.

Some of del Toro’s more notable films include the 2001 “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Blade II” in 2002, and “Hellboy” in 2004, which starred on of del Toro’s favorite actors, Ron Perlman.

You will also see del Toro’s names rolling in the credits of movies like “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Pacific Rim.” Interestingly enough, the director and producer, although most notable for spine-tingling tales, produced animated favorites like “Puss and Boots” and “Kung Fu Panda 2.”


Del Toro is the father of two children and recently divorced from his wife of 31 years, Lorenza Newton. The director, though a fan of the occasional twisted imagery, actually decided to become a vegetarian after he saw the blood-and-gore-filled “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” in 1974. His lifestyle choice was short-lived, and he gave up his vegetarian diet after four years.

He was given the opportunity to direct “Alien vs. Predator” and “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” but turned the projects down so he could work on “Hellboy.”

There are a few elements things you can almost always find on the screen when watching a del Toro film. Because of his strict catholic upbringing, you can find a lot of religious artifacts and items in his films. You will also find insect imagery. One of his more favorite colors to use is amber, which is prevalent in his “Blade II” and “Hellboy” films.

Del Toro took home an arm-full of awards at the 90th Oscars on March 4, 2018, securing a best picture and director win along with a few others for his film “The Shape of Water.”

Images credit Aaron Poole / A.M.P.A.S.




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