Bob Clark, Director of A Christmas Story, Killed in Car Accident
Bob Clark, best known for directing A Christmas Story, died suddenly (along with his 22-year-old son, Ariel) in a head-on crash on the Pacific Coast Highway April 4. It is reported that the driver of the other car was a drunk who steered into the wrong lane, yet survived. He has been charged with driving without a driver's license, as well as driving while intoxicated. It is a sad ending to a filmmaker who helmed one of the most beloved holiday films of all time.
Born on August 5, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Bob Clark was a director and writer, known not only for A Christmas Story (1983),but also the original Porky's (1981) and Baby Geniuses (1999). It is true that he was nominated for two Razzies as Worst Director during his career. Once in 1985 for the film Rhinestone (1984), then twenty years later for Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004). However, he was also the man behind the lens for the much acclaimed film, Tribute for which Jack Lemmon was nominated the Best Actor of 1980.
Clark was American, but made his name as a director of low-budget horror pics in Canada before turning out the remarkably popular, money making teen-sploitation hit Porky’s in the early eighties. In fact, it's the top-grossing Canadian film ever made with $250 million in global box office. He followed that hit with A Christmas Story, which was based on Jean Shepherd’s memoir. Just as with It's a Wonderful Life, the picture wasn’t a big hit initially, earning only $19.3 million at the domestic box office. But as TV audiences know, it grew in popularity and is now shown in cable marathons every year over the holidays. I can't celebrate Christmas without it.
Although Clark had is ups and downs with the material he was given to direct, he had a career that lasted the test of time, and created one film that will be remembered by generations for decades to come. Who knows what else he may have created had his life not been so cruelly cut short. May he and his son rest in peace.