Paul Thomas Anderson Biography, Books, Net Worth, Family, Awards and Nominations

Quick Facts

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American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has known almost all his life that he wanted to make films. He is proof that realizing your calling early in life is always a good thing. Anderson has been named as one of the supreme talents of this day and age. He has directed at least 9 feature films most notably Boogie Nights (1997), There Will Be Blood (2007), and Phantom Thread (2017).

Paul Thomas Anderson Biography

Paul Thomas Anderson was born on June 26, 1970, in Studio City, California and raised in the San Fernando Valley where he now resides with his family. His father Ernie Anderson was a popular actor in his days and hosted a late-night horror show in Cleveland.

His father’s entertainment DNA robbed off on him early as Anderson began making films at the age of 8. He didn’t even have a plan B and his father supported him all the way. He bought him a Betamax video camera when he was 12 years old.

Anderson attended several high schools including Campbell Hall School and Montclair College Preparatory. During his senior year in high school, Anderson wrote and filmed his first real production, a mock-documentary titled The Dirk Diggler Story (1988). The 30-minutes film was about a once-great pornography star named Dirk Diggler.

After high school graduation, Anderson jumped around three colleges including Santa Monica College, Emerson College where he spent 2 semesters as an English major and the New York University where he spent 2 days before collecting his tuition back.


Anderson said that college made film-making look like a chore and instead he decided to replace his college education by making his own short film.

With funds raised from different sources including $20,000 from gambling, Anderson made the short film Cigarettes & Coffee (1993) which was screened at the 1993 Sundance Festival Shorts Program.

He later made it to the Sundance Feature Film Program after which he directed his first feature-length film Hard Eight that ultimately launched his career.


Anderson entered into a relationship with actress, comedian, and singer Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids and Grown Ups) in 2001. Though it is unclear when they got married, the couple did begin a family together in 2005. Also, a article published in early 2016 referred to them as married couples.

In October 2005, they welcomed their first issue, a daughter named Pearl Minnie. Their other children include daughters Lucille and Minnie Ida born in November 2009 and August 2013 respectively, and son Jack born in July 2011.

The family lives in a mansion in San Fernando Valley.

Net Worth

PT Anderson’s net worth has been estimated to fall somewhere between $50 million and $70 million. However, many have come to doubt those figures considering that not a lot of his feature films have had an outstanding success commercially. 2007’s There Will Be Blood is his highest-grossing filmmaking a little over $76 million against a budget of $25 million.

However, there is a counter-argument that Anderson is worth the figure taking into consideration the fact that he gets residual benefits from his films, shoots TV commercials and also banks from directing music videos. P.S: He directed a number of music videos for his then singer girlfriend singer Fiona Apple during the late 1990s and early 2000.

The figures may seem too big or small for PT Anderson depending on your perception, but the truth is that he is far from being broke and is obviously living his dreams.


The scripts of Anderson’s films have been written in books and made available for purchase. Some of them include; Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-drunk Love, There Will Be Blood, The Master, Phantom Thread and Altman on Altman.

Awards and Nominations

Anderson has been receiving awards and nominations since the release of his first feature film Hard Eight (1996). By 2016, he became the only film director to win all three director prizes from the three major international film festivals; Venice, Cannes, and Berlin.


His films have also helped shoot the careers of certain actors snapping them equally coveted awards and nominations. For example, Daniel Day-Lewis who played the lead in There Will Be Blood earned an Academy Award for Best Actor. His works have received at least 25 Academy Awards with at least 8 to his own name.

Here is a Quick Look at some of his Awards

Hard Eight (1996)

Won (1): Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best New Filmmaker.

Boogie Nights (1997)

Won (3): Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best New Filmmaker; Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award’s New Generation Award, and Toronto International Film Festival Award’s Metro Media Award.

Nominated (10): Academy and BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay, 3 Satellite Award nominations AND more.

Magnolia (1999)

Won (7): 3 Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Director, Film, and Screenplay, 2 Berlin International Film Festival Award for Golden Bear and Reader Jury of the “Berliner Morgenpost” Award, San Sebastián International Film Festival’s Film of the Year and Guldbagge Award for Best Foreign Film.

Nominated (11): Including  Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and Writers Guild of America Award for Best SCreenplay.

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Won (4): Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Director, Gijón International Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay, Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Director and Motovun Film Festival Award’s Propeller of Motovun Award.

Nominated (6): Including Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Screenplay.

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Won (13): Including Bodil Award for Best American Film, London Critics Circle Film Award for Director of the Year, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Director, Berlin International Film Festival for Best Director and more.

Nominated (27): Including 3 Academy Award and 3 BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Director, and Picture.

The Master (2012)

Won (3): Venice International Film Festival’s Silver Lion Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Director and International Federation of Film Critics Award for Best Film.

Nominated (17): Including BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Inherent Vice (2014)

Won (2): National Board of Review for Best Adapted Screenplay and San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Nominated (6): Including an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

 Phantom Thread (2017)

Won (5): Including Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director, Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Director.

Nominated (11): Including 2 Academy Awards for Best Director and Picture.

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