Peter Billingsley

Active - 1978 - 2022  |   Born - Apr 16, 1971 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Children's/Family, Comedy Drama

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Biography by Cammila Collar

Many know actor, director, and producer Peter Billingsley for the role he played when he was just nine years old, portraying young Ralphie in the classic 1982 holiday film A Christmas Story, but Billingsley's career actually dates back even further. He began appearing in TV commercials from the age of two, and by the time he auditioned for A Christmas Story, he'd already become popular with audiences all over America, providing the "children's angle" on the popular TV series Real People.

He continued to act in projects throughout the '80s, appearing on TV shows like Who's the Boss? and in films like Russkies, as well as in a handful of after-school specials, but Billingsley was never able to duplicate the fame he garnered as Ralphie. In the late '90s, the film vet stepped behind the camera and began exploring a new avenue in his career, producing and executive producing a variety of projects like the Discovery Channel's A.R.K., and movies like Elf, The Break-Up, and Iron Man.

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  • Began acting at 2 years old.
  • Portrayed Messy Marvin in a series of Hershey's chocolate syrup commercials in the 1980s.
  • Hosted children's segments on the popular reality/documentary series Real People in the early '80s. 
  • Was the first person to audition for the role of Ralphie Parker in the enduring 1983 comedy A Christmas Story.
  • Became friends with Vince Vaughn when they costarred in the CBS after-school special The Fourth Man (1990).
  • Went on to produce a number of movies involving Vaughn and frequent collaborator Jon Favreau, including Made (2001) and The Break-Up (2006).
  • Made his feature directorial debut in 2009 with the hit comedy Couples Retreat, starring Vaughn and Favreau.