Born March 15, 1943, in Toronto, Cronenberg became interested in filmmaking while a student at the University of Toronto. Although he made several movies during the late 1970s, he didn't have his first major box office success until 1981's Scanners. With its unforgettable exploding-head scene, that movie paved the way for the equally gory sci-fi thriller Videodrome and The Dead Zone (starring Christopher Walken), both from 1983.
In recent years, Cronenberg has continued to shock and provoke with films such as Naked Lunch, The Fly, Dead Ringers (in which Jeremy Irons plays fratricidal identical twins) and Crash.
As operators of a small-town diner, Tom Stall and his wife are the picture of normality. But when Tom foils a robbery and becomes a hero in the media, he attracts the wrong kind of attention from mobsters who think he's someone else.