Bob Clark Biography

Born: August 05, 1941


Date of Birth: August 5, 1941

Although commonly mistaken for a Canadian-born director because his biggest successes have been Canadian films, Bob Clark was actually born in New Orleans, Louisiana. After studying at the University of Miami, he got his start as a director with The Emperor's New Clothes (1966), starring John Carradine.

Next up was the low-budget She-Man (1967), about a Vietnam draft dodger who becomes a female impersonator to avoid being found out. Clark teamed up with Alan Ormsby, whom he knew from university, to write Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1972). Clark also directed the film, which featured Ormsby in a lead role.

The two again collaborated on Deathdream (1974), a thriller about a Vietnam Vet who comes home and goes on murderous rampages. The film was partially Canadian-produced, and next Clark traveled to Toronto where he directed Black Christmas (1974), starring Margot Kidder, Keir Dullea and Olivia Hussey. Another thriller, the film won several awards, including a Canadian Film Award for Best Performance by a Lead Actress for Margot Kidder.

It was Clark's biggest success to date, and he decided to stay in Toronto to direct Breaking Point (1976) starring Bo Svenson and Robert Culp. He then directed Canadians Christopher Plummer and Genevieve Bujold in Murder by Decree (1979). The film won numerous Genies (Canadian Oscars), including Best Director for Clark and Best Performance awards for the two stars.

Canadian-funded and filmed, Tribute (1980), starring Jack Lemmon, was another success, with Lemmon receiving a Genie award as well as Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. But it was Clark's next film, Porky's (1982), that became his biggest financial success to date. The small budget film featured a mixture of Canadian and American actors and was filmed in Florida. It was a huge financial success, earning a phenomenal $160 million worldwide, and became the catalyst for a whole new genre of teenage gross-out movies.

After shooting the sequel Porky's II: The Next Day (1983), Clark directed the now classic comedy, A Christmas Story (1983), about a little boy (Peter Billingsley) who desperately wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Filmed partly in Toronto, it was nominated for nine Genie awards. Clark won for Best Achievement in Direction and for Best Screenplay, shared with two other writers. He also earned a Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Comedy Adapted From Another Media.

Clark returned to his homeland to direct the American-produced Rhinestone (1984), starring Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton. Other Hollywood comedies such as Turk 182! (1985) and From the Hip (1987) were mildly successful, but none had the enduring quality of A Christmas Story or the financial success of Porky's, although his 1999 film Baby Geniuses did spawn a sequel - SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004).

Clark divides his time between the U.S. and Canada.

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