July 8, 1945 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Eleanor McCoy (? – 1977) (divorced) 2 children
Stan Lathan (born July 8, 1945) is an American television director, film director, television producer and television director.
Lathan's career began with public television in Boston where he co-created and directed one of the first and longest running urban-themed magazine shows, Say Brother. In 1969, he moved to New York to become one of the first directors of the groundbreaking urban preschool phenomenon Sesame Street.
In 1973, Lathan teamed up with Quincy Jones and Jesse Jackson to produce and direct Save the Children, a music documentary feature film distributed by Paramount Pictures. Lathan began directing network television shows in 1975, when he was invited to Los Angeles to direct multiple episodes of Sanford and Son starring Redd Foxx. He went on to direct numerous television drama and comedy series, including Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, Cagney & Lacey, Eight Is Enough, The Waltons, Falcon Crest, Remington Steele, Frank's Place, Fame, and Roc.
During the 1970s and 1980s, he contributed to performance arts series on public television. He directed Alvin Ailey: Memories & Visions, as well as dance specials featuring The Martha Graham Company, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Agnes de Mille. In addition, he directed dramas for PBS such as Great Performances, American Playhouse, The American Short Story, and Wonder Works. In 1984, he worked with Harry Belafonte to direct the hip-hop movie Beat Street for Orion Pictures.
In the 1990s, Lathan remained one of Hollywood's most prolific directors of TV and film. He directed the pilots and thus seeded the series and syndication success of Martin, Moesha, The Parkers, The Steve Harvey Show, Amen, Cedric the Entertainer Presents, Eve, and All of Us.
In 2000 and 2004, Lathan continued to break the mold and expand the business model for black comedy on cable TV. He executive produced and directed Dave Chappelle's highly successful comedy specials Killin' Them Softly for HBO and For What It's Worth for Showtime. He also executive produced and directed Cedric the Entertainer's Taking You Higher, for HBO.
Partnership with Russell Simmons
In 1989, Lathan and Russell Simmons partnered to create one of the most successful franchises in entertainment: HBO’s Def Comedy Jam series, which started the careers of some of today's biggest television and movie stars, such as Chris Tucker, Dave Chappelle, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Mike Epps, and D. L. Hughley. After a nine-year hiatus, Def Comedy Jam relaunched in 2006 to huge ratings. Together, they co-own The Simmons Lathan Media Group, a film and television production and acquisitions company that develops and distributes urban content across a variety of media platforms.
In 2002, the partnership was honored with their first Peabody Award for their series Def Poetry Jam on HBO. That same year, Lathan and Simmons produced and Lathan directed Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, which won a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event.
Lathan and Simmons are executive producing the MTV hit reality shows Run's House, Daddy's Girls, and Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voices for HBO. Simmons Lathan Media Group is also developing a wide variety of broadband and mobile content, and producing independent films.
- "The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2012.