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Thomas Peter "Tom" Shadyac (born December 11, 1958) is an American comedian, director, screenwriter, and producer. Shadyac, who was the youngest joke-writer ever for comedian Bob Hope, is widely known for writing and directing the films Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, and I Am. He is an adjunct professor of communication and teaches screenwriting at Pepperdine University's Seaver College. Shadyac was born in Falls Church, Virginia, to Julie and Richard Shadyac, a lawyer. His mother was Lebanese and his father was of half-Irish descent. His mother, Julie, who died of cancer in 1998, had become semi-quadriplegic and spent much of Shadyac's adult life in a wheelchair. Shadyac graduated from J. E. B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, Virginia, in 1976 where he had played basketball, participated in the Key Club and made the Junior National and National Honor Societies. In both 1975 and 1976 Tom was included in Who's Who Among High School Students. His older brother, Richard, was an attorney and is currently CEO of St. Jude's Children's Hospital fund-raising arm, ALSAC.