Stephen Gyllenhaal
Stephen gyllenhaal2010.jpg
Gyllenhaal in 2010
Stephen Roark Gyllenhaal

(1949-10-04) October 4, 1949 (age 73)
Alma materTrinity College
  • Film director
  • TV director
  • poet
Years active1979–present
(m. 1977; div. 2009)

(m. 2011)
Children3, including Maggie and Jake

Stephen Roark Gyllenhaal (/ˈɪlənhɔːl/; born October 4, 1949) is an American film director and poet. He is the father of actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Personal life

Gyllenhaal was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Virginia Lowrie (née Childs) and Hugh Anders Gyllenhaal. He is of Swedish and English descent; through his father, he is a member of the Gyllenhaal family, and a descendant of the cavalry officer Nils Gunnesson Haal, who was ennobled in 1652 when Queen Christina of Sweden conferred upon him the crest and family name, "Gyllenhaal".[1][2] Stephen grew up in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia in a close-knit Swedenborgian family and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 1972, with a degree in English. His mentor at Trinity was the poet Hugh Ogden.

He was married to screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal for 32 years, from 1977 until their divorce was finalized in 2009.[3] From that marriage, he is the father of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and actor Jake Gyllenhaal. He is also the brother of Anders Gyllenhaal,[4] executive editor of the Miami Herald.

In July 2011, he married Kathleen Man, a filmmaker and professor who was a co-producer on Gyllenhaal's 2012 film Grassroots. Their son Luke was born in 2014.[5][6]


Gyllenhaal directed the film version of the Pete Dexter novel Paris Trout, which was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won him a DGA Award. In 1990, Gyllenhaal directed Family of Spies, which was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy. In 1992, he directed the feature film Waterland, starring Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke. Since 1993, he has focused primarily on directing in television, including an episode of the ABC television series Twin Peaks. He directed his son, Jake, then 14 years old, in an episode of NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street that aired in 1994.[7] Gyllenhaal directed several episodes of the CBS series Numb3rs, The Mentalist, Hawthorne, Army Wives, Rectify, and Blue Bloods. In 2011, Gyllenhaal directed Girl Fight which starred Anne Heche and earned Gyllenhaal a DGA Nomination for outstanding directorial achievement in movies for television.[8]

He is also a poet, who has been published in literary journals such as Prairie Schooner and Nimrod. His first collection of poetry, Claptrap: Notes from Hollywood,[9] was published in June 2006 by Cantara Christopher's New York–based literary small press, Cantarabooks.[10]

In 2013, Gyllenhaal directed a backdoor pilot originally titled Sworn to Silence that aired as the Lifetime TV movie An Amish Murder. It stars Neve Campbell as a local police detective who must solve a murder case that involves the Amish Community she was shunned from years ago.[11] Gyllenhaal is also in post-production on a documentary about dream interpretation titled Exquisite Continent.[12]

In 2019, Gyllenhaal was on the "Social Impact Advisory Board" of the San Diego International Film Festival with Susan Sarandon and Cecelia Peck.[13][14]

Selected filmography

Year Title Notes
1979 Exit 10
1985 Certain Fury
1990 A Killing in a Small Town TV Film;
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
Family of Spies TV
1991 Paris Trout
1992 Waterland
1993 A Dangerous Woman
1995 Losing Isaiah
1998 Homegrown
1999 Resurrection TV
2000 The $treet
2001 The Warden of Red Rock TV
2002 Living with the Dead TV
2006 Time Bomb TV
2007 Manchild TV
2010 The Mentalist TV
2011 Girl Fight TV
2012 NYC 22 TV
2013 An Amish Murder TV
2014 Rectify TV
2016 So B. It
Billions TV


  1. ^ The Gyllenhaal Family Tree Project
  2. ^ Stated on Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., PBS, April 22, 2012.
  3. ^ "Maggie and Jake Now Children of Divorce". October 16, 2008. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  4. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes". May 6, 2009. Archived from the original on August 13, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2010.
  5. ^ Jamie Wells (October 25, 2016). "Kathleen Gyllenhaal: Health meets Hollywood Q&A | American Council on Science and Health". Retrieved February 26, 2017.
  6. ^ Gyllenhaal, Kathleen Man (August 2, 2016). "Pregnant? Stressed? Science Says Talk to Your Baby". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "Episode Guide". IMDb.
  8. ^ "64th Annual DGA Awards Television Nominees Announced – 64th Annual DGA Awards Television Nominees Announced" (Press release). Directors Guild of America. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  9. ^ "Claptrap". Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  10. ^ "A Literary Press". Cantarabooks. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  11. ^ "Lifetime Greenlights Movie-Backdoor Pilot 'Sworn To Silence' Starring Neve Campbell – Ratings". TVbytheNumbers. December 7, 2011. Archived from the original on December 22, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2017.
  12. ^ "An Exquisite Continent". Archived from the original on May 27, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  13. ^ "San Diego International Film Festival. October 15—20 2019. The Power of Perspective. Come Watch With Us" (PDF). October 28, 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2019. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  14. ^ "Nathan Fletcher Joins San Diego International Film Festival Advisory Board". Broadway World. Retrieved October 28, 2019.