Growing up the son of a literary agent, Billy Ray was surrounded by gifted writers at an early age. William "Billy" Ray was born in Los Angeles in 1963. Although his screenplay for the Bruce Willis vehicle "Color of Night" (1994) was his initial major effort, it was his work on the science-fiction cult classic television show "Earth 2" (syndicated 1994-95) that first had people paying attention to Ray. The show introduced Ray to the demanding work of writing for television; he would return to it whenever he could, but film was his first love. He worked for several years on various writing projects, often with other writers. He co-scripted with John Katzenbach the World War II film "Hart's War" (2002) and wrote and directed his next film, "Shattered Glass" (2003). The film was based on the true story of a young journalist caught in the act of fabricating his news stories, and was nominated for numerous screenplay awards. He continued to work on screenplays, turning in "Suspect Zero" (2004) and "Flightplan" (2005) in the next few years. However, he never forgot the thrill of directing and returned to it with "Breach" (2007). After working on the screenplay for the fantasy epic "The Hunger Games" (2012), Ray returned to ripped from the headlines film stories with "Captain Phillips" (2013), a docudrama-like film based on the capture of a ship by Somali pirates. The film garnered his first Oscar nomination.