Stephen Roark Gyllenhaal (/ˈdʒɪlənhɔːl/; born October 4, 1949; Cleveland) is an American film director and poet. He is the father of actors Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Gyllenhaal directed the film version of the Pete Dexter novel Paris Trout, which was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won him a DGA Award. In 1990, Gyllenhaal directed Family of Spies, which was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy. In 1992, he directed the feature film Waterland, starring Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke. Since 1993, he has focused primarily on directing in television, including an episode of the ABC television series Twin Peaks. He directed his son, Jake, then 14 years old, in an episode of NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street that aired in 1994. Gyllenhaal directed several episodes of the CBS series Numb3rs, The Mentalist, Hawthorne, Army Wives, Rectify, and Blue Bloods. In 2011, Gyllenhaal directed Girl Fight which starred Anne Heche and earned Gyllenhaal a DGA Nomination for outstanding directorial achievement in movies for television.
He is also a poet, who has been published in literary journals such as Prairie Schooner and Nimrod. His first collection of poetry, Claptrap: Notes from Hollywood, was published in June 2006 by Cantara Christopher's New York–based literary small press, Cantarabooks.
In 2013, Gyllenhaal directed a backdoor pilot originally titled Sworn to Silence that aired as the Lifetime TV movie An Amish Murder. It stars Neve Campbell as a local police detective who must solve a murder case that involves the Amish Community she was shunned from years ago. Gyllenhaal is also in post-production on a documentary about dream interpretation titled Exquisite Continent.
In 2019, Gyllenhaal was on the "Social Impact Advisory Board" of the San Diego International Film Festival with Susan Sarandon and Cecelia Peck.