Alex Winter

Alex Winter found early fame as one half of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989) before later finding acclaim as a documentary filmmaker. Born in London, the son of professional dancers, he moved with his mother to the United States as a child. After his family relocated to the New York area while he was in his early teens, he began acting in stage productions both on and off Broadway. He attended New York University's famed film school and then relocated to Los Angeles to continue his acting career. He made his screen debut in the Charles Bronson action film "Death Wish 3" (1985). A role as one of Kiefer Sutherland's gang of vampires in "The Lost Boys" (1987) brought Winter to the attention of a larger audience. He stepped up to a starring role when he teamed with Keanu Reeves for "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure." The dimwitted pairs' time-traveling romp connected with audiences and was a hit. The film spawned a sequel, "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey" (1991), as well as an animated series, "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" (CBS, 1990), that saw Winter reprising his role as Bill S. Preston. Outside of the franchise, he also starred in the comedy "Rosalie Goes Shopping" (1989). As his acting career slowed, he turned increasingly towards directing. He had directed the music video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song "Taste the Pain" in 1989, and made his feature debut with "Freaked" (1993). He continued directing music videos throughout the '90s, before writing and directing the drama "Fever" (1999), starring Henry Thomas. He moved into directing television, including the TV movies "Ben 10: Race Against Time" (2007) and "Ben 10: Alien Swarm" (2009). He started down a different path when he directed the documentary "Downloaded" (VH1, 2013) about the music file-sharing software Napster. His next effort "Deep Web" (Epix, 2015), exploring the Internet's so-called "Dark Web," earned him critical praise. A pair of short-form documentaries followed; "Relatively Free" (2016), about the prison release of journalist Barrett Brown, and "Trump's Lobby" (2017), which looked at Donald Trump's transition into the presidency. Winters earned a new level of acclaim with his documentary "The Panama Papers" (Epix, 2018), telling the story of the work by journalists around the world to uncover a global financial conspiracy. He continued gaining notice as a documentarian with "Trust Machine" (2018), which explored the rise of cryptocurrency. The filmmaker also partnered with the estate of Frank Zappa to for a documentary on the life of the musician. Winters never completely left acting, frequently appearing in small roles in his non-documentary directing efforts, and joining Elijah Wood and John Cusack in the thriller "Grand Piano" (2013).