Marcia Clark

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Marcia Clark
Marcia Clark at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Marcia Clark at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Born Marcia Rachel Kleks
(1953-08-31) August 31, 1953 (age 63)
Alameda, California, U.S.
Occupation Prosecutor
Television correspondent
Years active 1979–present
  • Gabriel Horowitz (m. 1976; div. 1980)
  • Gordon Tolls Clark (m. 1980; div. 1995)
Children 2

Marcia Rachel Clark (born Marcia Rachel Kleks; August 31, 1953)[1] is an American prosecutor, author, and television correspondent.[2] She was the head prosecutor in the O. J. Simpson murder case.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Clark was born in Alameda, California, the daughter of Rozlyn Kleks (née Masur) and Abraham Kleks, who was born and raised in Israel and worked as a chemist for the Food and Drug Administration.[5] She was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family.[6] She has a younger brother by six years who became an engineer.[5] Due to Abraham's job with the FDA, the family moved many times, living in California, New York, Michigan and Maryland.[5]

She graduated from Susan E. Wagner High School, a public high school in the Manor Heights section of Staten Island, New York City, New York.[7] She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1976 with a degree in political science, then earned a Juris Doctor degree at Southwestern University School of Law.


Clark was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1979.[8] She was in private practice and "worked as a public defender for the city of Los Angeles before becoming a prosecutor"[9] in 1981[5] for Los Angeles County, California, where she worked as a deputy district attorney, and was mentored by prosecutor Harvey Giss.[10]

She is best remembered for her involvement in the O. J. Simpson murder case along with Christopher Darden.[11] Prior to the O. J. Simpson murder trial, her highest-profile prosecution was in 1991, when she prosecuted Robert John Bardo for the murder of television star Rebecca Schaeffer.[12][13][14] In his book Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away with Murder, Vincent Bugliosi blames the acquittal of O. J. Simpson on Marcia Clark's prosecutorial incompetence.[citation needed]

Clark said that the media attention she received during the trial was "the hell of the trial", calling herself "famous in a way that was kind of terrifying".[15] Initially described as "grim, humorless, even angry" by the media,[16] Clark was advised by a jury consultant to "talk softer, dress softer, wear pastels" as a means to improve her image.[15] She subsequently received a permanent wave, and the Los Angeles Times described her as looking like "Sigourney Weaver, only more professional".[17] The New York Times cemented that "The transformation was not entirely seamless. At times Ms. Clark lurched between her new and former self, showing occasional signs of formality and stiffness."[16]

Resigning after the O. J. Simpson case, Clark left trial practice behind. With Teresa Carpenter, she authored a book, Without a Doubt, about the Simpson case, in a deal reported to be worth $4.2 million.[18]

In the years following the Simpson trial, Clark has made numerous appearances on television including being a "special correspondent" for Entertainment Tonight, where she provided coverage of high-profile trials and reported from the red carpet at awards shows such as the Emmy Awards. She was a guest attorney on the short-lived television series Power of Attorney and was also featured on Headline News (HLN) to weigh in on the Casey Anthony trial.[19] In July 2013, Clark provided commentary for CNN on the George Zimmerman murder trial in Florida.

Clark has re-invented herself as a writer. She contributes a column for The Daily Beast[20] and has written several novels. Her Rachel Knight series, published by Mulholland Books, includes Guilt By Association (2011; ISBN ), Guilt By Degrees (2012), Killer Ambition (2013), and The Competition (2014).[21] Clark's Samantha Brinkman series, published by Thomas & Mercer, includes Blood Defense (2016) and Moral Defense (2016).

In popular culture[edit]

In August 2013, Clark appeared as Attorney Sidney Barnes on Pretty Little Liars in the episode "Now You See Me, Now You Don't".[22] The character of Marcia on the Emmy-nominated sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, is highly considered to be a parody of Clark, though the character is simply credited as Marcia. Marcia was portrayed by Tina Fey, who was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayal.

Clark was played by Sarah Paulson in the first season of American Crime Story, which focuses on the O. J. Simpson trial. Her performance as Clark earned wide acclaim and she earned a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for the role.[23][24] Clark attended the Emmy Awards with Paulson on September 18, 2016.[23]

Personal life[edit]

When she was 17 years old, on a trip to Eilat, Israel, Clark was raped.[9] She has said that it was an experience that she didn't deal with until much later, and that it informed much of why she became a prosecutor.[9]

In 1976, Clark married Gabriel Horowitz, an Israeli professional backgammon player.[25] They met while students at UCLA.[5] They received a "Tijuana divorce"[5] in 1980.[9][26] They had no children. Horowitz was briefly in the news after he (or his mother) sold topless photos of Clark to the National Enquirer during the O. J. Simpson trial.[5]

In 1980, she married her second husband, Gordon Clark, "a computer programmer and systems administrator" who was employed at the Church of Scientology.[9][27] They were divorced in 1995 and have two sons, born in about 1990 and 1992.[9] Gordon Clark argued at a custody hearing during the Simpson trial that he should receive custody of their children due to the long hours Marcia Clark spent working for the trial.[5]

Clark no longer considers herself a religious person, although she was raised Jewish and her first wedding was a conservative Jewish one.[9] She was a member of the Church of Scientology but since 1980 is no longer associated with it.[9]

She resides in Calabasas, California.[9]



Rachel Knight series[edit]

Samantha Brinkman series[edit]


  1. ^ "Marcia Rachel Kleks - California Birth Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  2. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (5 April 2016). "Marcia Clark's Final Verdict on The People v. O.J. Simpson". Vulture. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (9 January 1995). "True Grit". The New Yorker. p. 28. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Breslin, Jimmy (August 1995). "Marcia Clark". Esquire. 124 (2): 48. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Adams, Lorraine (20 August 1995). "The Fight of Her Life". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Marcia Rachel Clark". Law Library - American Law and Legal Information. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  7. ^ "Staten Island on the Web: Famous Staten Islanders". The New York Public Library. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  8. ^ "Marcia Rachel Clark". The State Bar of California. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Galloway, Stephen (30 March 2016). "Marcia Clark on Her Rape, Scientology Flirtation and When She Last Saw O.J.". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  10. ^ Margolick, David (22 January 1995). "The Murder Case of a Lifetime Gets a Murder Prosecutor of Distinction". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  11. ^ Traister, Rebecca (February 2016). "Marcia Clark Is Redeemed". New York Magazine. Retrieved March 3, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Marcia Clark". WME Entertainment. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  13. ^ "Obsessed Fan of Actress Was 'Sick,' Doctor Says". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  14. ^ Shulman, Michael (March 2, 2016). "Sarah Paulson Opens Up About Acting, Marcia Clark and Dating Older Women". The New York Times. Retrieved March 3, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b Felsenthal, Julia (28 January 2016). "American Crime Story and the Vindication of O.J. Simpson Prosecutor Marcia Clark". Retrieved 22 November 2016. 
  16. ^ a b Margolick, David (3 October 1994). "Remaking of the Simpson Prosecutor". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 November 2016. 
  17. ^ Daunt, Tina (12 April 1995). "A Good Hair Day: Prosecutor Maria Clark Sheds Curls for a New Look". Retrieved 22 November 2016. 
  18. ^ "Marcia Clark resigns as prosecutor". CNN. January 9, 1997. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  19. ^[dead link]
  20. ^ "Marcia Clark". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  21. ^ "Marcia Clark, O.J. Simpson Prosecutor, Writes Book Guilt By Association". ABC News. Retrieved February 6, 2016. 
  22. ^ "@imarleneking thank you so much for letting me play Sidney Barnes, it was SUCH incredible fun! Great to meet you! #PLLROCKS". July 29, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Maslow, Nick (September 18, 2016). "Sarah Paulson and Marcia Clark Pal Around on Emmys Red Carpet". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2017. 
  24. ^ Weatherby, Taylor (January 8, 2017), "Here Is the 2017 Golden Globes Winners List", Billboard, retrieved January 8, 2017 
  25. ^ "Gaby George Horowitz and Marcia Rachel Kleks". FamilySearch. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  26. ^ Cochrane, Kira (23 May 2011). "Marcia Clark: life after the OJ Simpson trial". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  27. ^ "Gordon T Clark and Marcia R Kleks". FamilySearch. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 

External links[edit]