American director and composer known for his horror, thriller and science fiction films. His filmography includes The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween, Escape from New York and Starman. He has composed most of the music for his films.
He made short horror films on 8mm before high school. He was enrolled at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, but dropped out.
His film Halloween was selected for preservation in the National Film Library in 2006 by the United States Library of Congress.
He met actress Adrienne Barbeau on the set of his television movie Somebody's Watching Me, and the two were married on January 1, 1979. They divorced five years later. In 1990, Carpenter married Sandy King. He has one son.
He was greatly influenced by the works of director Alfred Hitchcock.