Peter John Farrelly (born December 17, 1956) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and novelist. The Farrelly brothers are mostly famous for directing and producing gross-out humor romantic comedy films such as Dumb and Dumber, Shallow Hal, Me, Myself and Irene, There's Something About Mary and the 2007 remake of The Heartbreak Kid. In addition to his extensive film career, Peter is also an acting board member of the online media company DeskSite.
Farrelly was born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, the son of Mariann, a nurse practitioner, and Robert Leo Farrelly, a doctor. He was raised in Cumberland, Rhode Island and graduated from Providence College.
Farrelly decided to pursue writing full-time, which prompted him to quit his job and head to Cape Cod, Massachusetts where he got a job as a waiter. On one of the tables he was waiting, Farrelly struck up a conversation with a writing professor from UMass Amherst, who encouraged Farrelly to apply to graduate school. Farrelly said he did not think his chances were good, considering he did poorly in college but the professor said not everything is judged by grades. With what would later be Outside Providence, Farrelly submitted the work and was pleasantly surprised that he was accepted. He studied writing for a while at UMass Amherst, but was ultimately dissatisfied with the program, and transferred to Columbia University in New York City, which Farrelly said he found very satisfying. He later became interested in screenwriting, which led him to directing. He made this career decision after many of his works sold, but were not produced.
Together with his brother, Bobby Farrelly, he has written, directed, and produced several comedy films including There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, Shallow Hal, Me, Myself & Irene, Stuck on You, and Fever Pitch. They also conceived the Seinfeld episode "The Virgin" (4.10).
In 2006, Farrelly directed the Man Laws series of television commercials for the Miller Lite beer brand, which featured actor Burt Reynolds, American football player Jerome Bettis, climber Aron Ralston, and professional wrestler Triple H.
Peter did its first project away from Bobby in Movie 43, released in 2013 and produced by the siblings' long-time producer Charles B. Wessler. He produced the anthology film and directed two of its segments.
In 2012, Peter and his brother announced that the filming of the sequel to Dumb and Dumber would begin in 2013.
He is a published novelist, with works including Outside Providence and The Comedy Writer.
Farrelly is a board member of DeskSite. He lives in Los Angeles, while Bobby remains in Massachusetts.