PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Happy birthday to Peekskill's Abe Ferrara.
The actor, who moved to Peekskill as a teenager, turns 65 today.A film screenwriter, director and occasionally an actor, Ferrara was born July 19, 1951, in the Bronx and is of Italian and Irish descent.
He is best-known as an independent filmmaker of such movies as "The Driller Killer," "Ms. 45," "King of New York," "Bad Lieutenant" and "The Funeral.
At 15, Ferrara moved to Peekskill. He attended the film conservatory at SUNY Purchase, where he directed several short films, most of which are all available on "The Short Films of Abel Ferrara" collection.
Ferrara first drew a cult audience with "The Driller Killer (1979), an urban slasher about an artist (played by Ferrara under the alias Jimmy Laine) who goes on a killing spree with a drill in hand. He followed it with "Ms. 45" (1981), a "rape revenge" film starring Zoe Tamerlis, who later scripted "Bad Lieutenant."
Ferrara was next hired to direct "Fear City" (1984). The film depicted a seedy Times Square strip club, where a "kung fu slasher" stalks and murders the girls after work.
Ferrara then worked on two Michael Mann-produced television series, directing the two-hour pilot for "Crime Story," which aired Sept. 18, 1986, starring Dennis Farina, along with two episodes of the series "Miami Vice": "The Home Invaders," which aired March 15, 1985, in season 1 and "The Dutch Oven" (October 1985, in season 2).
Following his television work, Ferrara directed several feature films, "China Girl" (1987), made-for-television's "The Gladiator" (1987) and "Cat Chaser" (1989).
In 2014, he shot a biographical film titled "Pasolini" about the acclaimed Italian director, poet, journalist and intellectual who was murdered in 1975. The film stars William Dafoe in the title role.
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