Gus Van Sant Jr. (born July 24, 1952 in Louisville, Kentucky) is an American Academy Award nominated film director, photographer, musician, and author. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon.
His early career was devoted to directing television commercials in the Pacific Northwest. Openly gay, he has dealt unflinchingly with homosexual and other marginalized subcultures without being particularly concerned about providing positive role models.
His filmography as writer and director includes an adaptation of Tom Robbins' novel Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, which features a diverse cast, and My Own Private Idaho. He is perhaps best known for directing Good Will Hunting.
As an actor, Van Sant has appeared in a cameo on screen in Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back playing himself. In the movie, he is counting wads of money which was made during Good Will Hunting. As an added joke, they were filming a fake sequel to the movie, called Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season.
He has written the screenplays for most of his early movies, and has written one novel, Pink. A book of his photography has also been published called 108 Portraits.