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Famous Like Me > Actor > K > Harry Jay Knowles

Profile of Harry Jay Knowles on Famous Like Me

Name: Harry Jay Knowles  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 11th December 1971
Place of Birth: Austin, Texas, USA
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Harry Jay Knowles (born December 11, 1971 in Austin, Texas), is an online film critic best known for his movie news and review website, Ain't It Cool News. He also appears in Sky Movies News for Sky Digital.


Knowles's early years were spent traveling the Southwest and Mexico with his parents, Jay and Helen, who did light shows for touring rock bands. His parents then settled in Austin and began trading comic books and movie memorabilia from the upstairs floor of their Victorian era house. Knowles's parents also produced the Austin Fantasy Film Fest in 1976, one of the first science fiction conventions in Austin. Knowles spent many hours watching B-grade horror movies as well as other genres from mostly bootlegged 16 mm prints.

In 1983, Knowles's parents divorced and his mother received custody of him and his younger sister Dannie Helen Loraine Knowles. The kids lived with their mother on her family's ranch in West Texas. His mother took custody of the comics and films also. With nothing better to do on the ranch, Knowles spent more time immersed in reading comics and watching movies.

At age seventeen, Knowles was able to move back with his father. His mother died shortly thereafter in a fire.

In 1994, Knowles suffered a debilitating accident that left him virtually bedridden. With part of $5000 from his mother's life insurance, he purchased a top of the line computer and arranged for Internet service through a friend. After teaching himself how to "get around" on the Internet, Knowles started exchanging gossip and rumors on films in production with other fans. Soon, he began the website that became Ain't It Cool News.

In 2000, he was ranked #95 in the Forbes Power List and was once referred to by Quentin Tarantino as "the Wolf Blitzer of the Internet." He has also made guest appearances on Ebert & Roeper.

On March 15, 2003, Knowles's place in the pop culture pantheon was solidified when he was impersonated by Horatio Sanz in a sketch on Saturday Night Live, wherein he was referred to as "that chubby guy from Ain't It Cool News." Knowles feigned offense on his website at being called "chubby." "I'm morbidly obese," he quipped on his site, "and I've worked hard to get there!"


Knowles is known for taking trips paid for by movie studios to movie sets and premiers, and questions have sometimes emerged about the resulting impartiality of his articles and reviews. For example, he was flown to the premiere of Godzilla, and gave the movie a wildly positive review, while a vast majority of critics disliked the film. Knowles and his defenders, however, have noted that he has given mixed reviews to movies for which he has been sent to junkets and premieres, and in any case is often out of step with mainstream critics.

Knowles has also been the subject of a fair bit of controversy for actions that would not be considered ethical if performed by mainstream journalists. In 2001, he wrote an article praising a script by Drew McWeeny. He failed to mention, however, that McWeeny was a paid contributor to the site, writing under the pseudonym "Moriarty". This and other alleged lapses were reported in a series of articles in Film Threat magazine .

Film credits

  • Harry Knowles at the Internet Movie Database
    • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
    • Monkeybone (2001)
    • The Faculty (1998)
    • The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Harry Jay Knowles