Peter Hedges was born July 6, 1962 in Des Moines and graduated from Valley High School in West Des Moines.
Hedges’ novel, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape was adapted into a critically acclaimed film of the same title, which launched his film career. He has gone on to write and direct several films, earning a 2002 Academy Award nomination for his adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel, About a Boy.
Hedges attended North Carolina School for the Arts. He is married to poet Susan Bruce. They have two children, Simon and Lucas Hedges. Lucas appeared in the film, Moonrise Kingdom.
In addition to What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1991), Hedges is also author of the novels An Ocean in Iowa (1998) and The Heights (2010). Hedges wrote the screenplays for A Map of the World (1999) and Pieces of April (2003). He is co-writer and director of Dan in Real Life (2007) and The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012). Three of his plays, Baby Anger, Good as New and Imagining Brad have all been published and performed.
Leonardo Di Caprio’s portrayal of Arnie, the mentally disabled brother of main character Gilbert in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, was highly acclaimed and earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. It is widely considered his breakout acting role.