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Alek Keshishian
Born 30 July 1964 (1964-07-30) (age 57)
Occupation Director, producer, writer
Years active 1988–present

Alek Keshishian (Armenian: Ալեք Գևորգի Քեշիշեան, born 30 July 1964, in Beirut, Lebanon) is an Armenian-American film and commercial director, writer, producer and music video director. He is best known for his 1991 film Madonna: Truth or Dare which was, until 2002, the highest-grossing documentary of all time.

Early life

Alek was raised in Manchester, New Hampshire, in the US along with his sister Aleen by their Armenian parents Kevork and Cecile Keshishian. His parents were frequently seen on segments of Chelsea Lately, known as 'Keeping Up with the Keshishians'. While he was a superb student of math and sciences, and his father wished Alek would follow in his footsteps in medicine, Alek's talent and passion for music, theatre, and dance was too strong. As a youngster, both he and his sister toured with the NH Children's Theatre, American Children's Theatre, and the "I Like the U.S. of A." National Touring Company. While studying at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire, where he graduated summa cum laude, he quickly became one of the program's lead dancers. Before graduating from Harvard University, he co-produced the then 134-year Harvard tradition of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, becoming the first junior ever to do so. The Hasty Pudding Show at Harvard has included Jack Lemmon and Fred Gwynne.


Keshishian's began his professional career as a music video director where he made clips for artists like Bobby Brown, Elton John and Vanessa Williams.

Madonna, who had viewed a VHS home recording of Keshishian's pop opera of Wuthering Heights at Harvard, unbeknownst to Alek, had asked her agents to send her everything he directed. When he was 26, Keshishian got a call from Madonna who asked him to direct the HBO special for her Blond Ambition World Tour. Four days later, Keshishian travelled to Japan to shoot some backstage footage for the HBO special. Candid backstage footage captured in Japan, led Madonna to let him direct a feature-length documentary movie instead. Truth or Dare became the biggest grossing documentary of its time

Keshishian's next project was the Warner Bros. feature film With Honors, starring Joe Pesci, Brendan Fraser, and Patrick Dempsey. It was the number one movie in America for the first two weeks of its release.

At age 29, Keshishian turned his back on Hollywood, and focused on photography and commercials instead, producing work for clients including Coca-Cola, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Brut by Fabergé, Aprilia, Baileys, and Max Factor.

Keshishian left London in 2006, after writing, directing and producing an indie comedy farce called Love and Other Disasters, starring Brittany Murphy, Matthew Rhys, and Catherine Tate, which was a festival favorite and even opened the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Returning to the U.S., he directed commercials and special projects like Jennifer Aniston's two Smartwater campaigns. He also directed the comedic shower shorts that featured Chelsea Handler with Sandra Bullock and fellow Harvard graduate Conan O'Brien.

As of 2007 Keshishian has been writing and developing two projects for David Fincher: one for TV called La Luna and the other a feature called Adult Services.


  • Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991) – documentary
  • With Honors (1994)
  • Love and Other Disasters (2006)
  • W.E. (2011) – co-writer with Madonna

Music videos

  • "(He's Got) The Look" (1988) – Vanessa Williams
  • "Dreamin'" (1988) – Vanessa Williams
  • "Don't Be Cruel" (1988) – Bobby Brown
  • "My Prerogative" (1988) – Bobby Brown
  • "Don't Rush Me" (1988) – Taylor Dayne
  • "Darlin' I" (1989) – Vanessa Williams
  • "Every Little Step" (1989) – Bobby Brown
  • "On Our Own" (1989) – Bobby Brown
  • "Sacrifice" (1990) – Elton John
  • "Like a Virgin (Truth or Dare version)" (1991) – Madonna
  • "Holiday (Truth or Dare version)" (1991) – Madonna
  • "This Used to Be My Playground" (1992) – Madonna
  • "I'll Remember" (1994) – Madonna
  • "Hold Me" (2000) – Savage Garden
  • "Insatiable" (2002) – Darren Hayes
  • "Hands to Myself" (2015) – Selena Gomez
  • "Save It Til Morning" (2017) – Fergie
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