With his wife Laurie MacDonald, Walter F. Parkes runs Dreamworks motion picture division.

In May 1994, he became president of Amblin Entertainment, Steven Spielberg's production company at Universal Studios, and in July 1995 was named director of motion pictures for Dreamworks SKG.

Born in Bakersfield, California, Walter graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. He later attended the Stanford University Graduate School of Communications, where he began his first feature length film, a documentary about the rebirth of the Nazi party in America, The California Reich. The film was nominated for an Oscar, awarded a special citation at the Cannes Film Festival, and shown at film festivals around the world.

Walter is a three-time Academy Award nominee. His other two nominations, both in partnership with fellow GBN Network member Lawrence Lasker, are for WarGames (best original screenplay, 1983) and Awakenings (best picture, 1990).

Other screen credits as producer and/or writer include True Believer, Sneakers, How to Make An American Quilt, Twister, and Men in Black. Walter also created and was executive producer for the ABC drama "Birdland," starring Brian Dennehy.

Parkes and MacDonald have two children.