Colin Clark (filmmaker)

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Colin Clark
Born(1932-10-09)9 October 1932
London, England, UK
Died17 December 2002(2002-12-17) (aged 70)
London, England, UK
OccupationWriter and filmmaker
Spouse(s)Violette Verdy (divorced)
Parent(s)Kenneth Clark
Elizabeth Martin
RelativesAlan Clark (brother)

Colin Clark (9 October 1932 – 17 December 2002) was a British writer and filmmaker who specialised in films about the arts, for cinema and television.

Life and career[edit]

He was the son of the art historian Lord Clark of Saltwood (Sir Kenneth Clark), and the younger brother of the Conservative politician and military historian Alan Clark, with whom he was not always on good terms.[1]

Born in London, he was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. From 1951 to 1953, he did National Service as a pilot officer in the Royal Air Force.[2] In that capacity, he flew the Handley Page Hastings aircraft to Malaya and the Middle East.[3]

Colin Clark's first job on leaving university was as a personal assistant on the film The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), directed by Laurence Olivier and starring Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, an experience Clark later turned into two books – The Prince, the Showgirl and Me and My Week with Marilyn[4] – the former a set of diaries[5] (a TV documentary version of which was also made in 2004) and the latter a memoir of his alleged[6] relationship with Monroe.[7] Clark's time with Monroe is the basis of the 2011 film My Week with Marilyn, where he is portrayed by Eddie Redmayne.

He went on to work with Olivier on The Entertainer, Titus Andronicus and other British stage productions.[8] In January 1958 he agreed to be bound over having been rounded up in a police raid on John Aspinall's illicit gaming house.[9]

He then worked for Granada Television in Manchester, initially as a floor manager and later as assistant to studio boss Denis Forman and then head of design. Moving to New York in 1960, he was involved in setting up a PBS educational television station, Channel 13 New Jersey, with the aim of covering arts and culture in the New York region. He made a series of programmes called Art: New York, and recorded live concerts by Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins.[10]

Clark returned to Britain in 1965 to work for Associated Television (ATV), where he made many documentary films, including series with Angus Wilson and Bernard Levin, as well as directing a series on art appreciation presented by his father, Sir Kenneth Clark, who had fallen out with the BBC.[11] After leaving ATV in 1971 to work as an independent film producer, he made further cultural documentary films for various commercial sponsors and for the Getty Museum as well as a film in which Alistair Cooke interviewed Prince Charles.[12] Although much of this work was for the American market, he ran the operation partly from London because costs there were lower and because, he said, there was little American tradition or experience of making documentary films.[13]

Clark was briefly married to prima ballerina Violette Verdy in the 1960s. Their marriage ended in divorce.[14] He retired from filmmaking in 1987 to write books. He died in December 2002 in London.[15]


General references[edit]

  • Clark, Colin (1995). The Prince, the Showgirl and Me: the Colin Clark Diaries. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-255642-2.
  • Clark, Colin (1997). Younger Brother, Younger Son: A memoir. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-255799-1.
  • Clark, Colin (2000). My Week with Marilyn. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-257127-2.

Inline citations[edit]

  1. ^ Ahmed, Kamal (17 December 2000). "Maverick's diaries were 'flawed'". The Observer. London.
  2. ^ Clark 1997, pp. 44 ff.
  3. ^ "Colin Clark". The Daily Telegraph. London. 19 December 2002.
  4. ^ "My Week with Marilyn DVD review". Tuppence Magazine.
  5. ^ Clark 1995
  6. ^ "The Sex Goddess Who Longed to Be Human". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Clark 2000
  8. ^ Clark 1997, p. 97 ff.
  9. ^ "Alleged Gaming House Sixteen Persons Bound Over". The Times. 11 January 1958.
  10. ^ Clark 1997, pp. 138–143
  11. ^ Clark 1997, pp. 144–150
  12. ^ Clark 1997, pp. 155–161
  13. ^ Fiddick, Peter (19 April 1976). "American Pie: Peter Fiddick talks to Colin Clark, independent television producer". The Guardian. London.
  14. ^ Violette Verdy, a ‘Theatrical’ Star of Balanchine’s City Ballet, Dies at 82 Accessed online February 15 12016
  15. ^ Trewin, Ion (18 December 2002). "Colin Clark: Writer and film producer in the shadow of his father and brother". The Independent. London.

External links[edit]