Marcia Clark

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Marcia Clark
Marcia Clark at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Clark at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Marcia Rachel Kleks

(1953-08-31) August 31, 1953 (age 70)
  • Prosecutor
  • writer
  • television correspondent
Years active1979–present
  • Gabriel Horowitz
    (m. 1976; div. 1980)
  • Gordon Tolls Clark
    (m. 1980; div. 1995)

Marcia Rachel Clark (née Kleks, formerly Horowitz; born August 31, 1953)[1] is an American prosecutor, author, television correspondent, and television producer.[2] She is best known for having been the lead prosecutor in the O. J. Simpson murder case.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Clark was born Marcia Rachel Kleks in Alameda, California, the daughter of Rozlyn (née Masur) and Abraham Kleks. Her father was born and raised in Israel and worked as a chemist for the FDA.[5] Because of her father's job, the family moved many times, living in California, New York, Michigan, and Maryland.[5]

Kleks graduated from Susan E. Wagner High School, a public school in the Manor Heights section of Staten Island, New York City.[6] She studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating in 1976 with a degree in political science, and then earned a Juris Doctor degree at Southwestern University School of Law.



Clark was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1979.[7] She worked in private practice and as a public defender for the city of Los Angeles before she became a prosecutor in 1981.[5][8] She worked as a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, California and was mentored by prosecutor Harvey Giss.[9]

Clark is perhaps best remembered as the lead prosecutor in the 1995 trial of O. J. Simpson for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.[10] Prior to the Simpson trial, Clark's highest-profile trial occurred in 1991 when she prosecuted Robert John Bardo for the murder of television star Rebecca Schaeffer.[11][12][13] Clark said that the media attention that she received during the trial was "the hell of the trial," calling herself "famous in a way that was kind of terrifying."[14] Clark was advised by a jury consultant to "talk softer, dress softer, wear pastels" in order to improve her image.[14] She subsequently changed her hairstyle into a perm, and the Los Angeles Times described her as resembling "Sigourney Weaver, only more professional."[15] The New York Times commented that "the transformation was not entirely seamless."

Commentator and author[edit]

Clark resigned from the district attorney's office after she lost the Simpson case. She and Teresa Carpenter wrote a book about the Simpson case, Without a Doubt, in a deal reported to be worth $4.2 million.[8][16]

Since the Simpson trial, Clark has made numerous appearances on television, including as a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. 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 analyzing the Casey Anthony trial. In July 2013, Clark provided commentary for CNN during the Florida trial of George Zimmerman.[citation needed]

Clark wrote a pilot script for a television series called Borderland, centering on "a very dark version of the DA's office." The series was purchased by FX but was never produced.[8] Clark has contributed true-crime articles to The Daily Beast.[17]

Clark has written several novels.[18] Her "Rachel Knight" series centers on a prosecutor in the Los Angeles district attorney's office, and includes Guilt By Association (2011),[19] Guilt By Degrees (2012),[20] Killer Ambition (2013)[21] and The Competition (2014).[22] Guilt by Association was adapted as a television pilot for TNT in 2014.[18][23][24]

Clark's "Samantha Brinkman" series features a female defense attorney. It includes Blood Defense (2016), Moral Defense (2016) and Snap Judgment (2017), and was planned as a television adaptation series for NBC that Clark would cowrite.[18][24] Clark did not expect to become an author, saying, "As a lawyer, I came to understand early that storytelling plays a very important part when you address a jury. So I guess my instincts have always kind of been there when it comes to weaving a narrative."[25] She read Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mystery fiction as a child and said "I have been addicted to crime since I was born. I was making up crime stories when I was a 4 or 5-year-old kid."[26]

In popular culture[edit]

In August 2013, Clark appeared as attorney Sidney Barnes in the Pretty Little Liars episode "Now You See Me, Now You Don't".[27]

In 2015, Clark was parodied on the sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in the form of the character Marcia, implied to be Marcia Clark in a relationship with Chris Darden, portrayed by Tina Fey.[28][29] Fey was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for the role.[30]

Clark appears in the 2016 documentary miniseries O.J.: Made in America.[31][32] She is played by Sarah Paulson in the 2016 television series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which focuses on the Simpson trial. Paulson's performance as Clark earned wide acclaim, and she earned a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for the role.[33][34] Clark attended the Emmy Awards with Paulson on September 18, 2016.[33] Katey Rich wrote in Vanity Fair that the series positions Clark as a "feminist hero."[35]

In 2019, Clark appeared in the 18th season finale of Gordon Ramsay's reality series Hell's Kitchen as a VIP guest diner for winner and Season 6 veteran Ariel Contreras-Fox.

Personal life[edit]

When Clark was 17 years old, she was raped on a trip to Eilat, Israel.[8] She has said that it was an experience with which she did not deal until much later and that it greatly influenced her decision to become a prosecutor.[8]

In 1976, Clark married Gabriel Horowitz, an Israeli professional backgammon player[36] whom she had met as a student at UCLA.[5] They obtained a "Mexican divorce"[5] in 1980[8][37] and had no children. Horowitz was briefly in the news after he sold topless photos of Clark to the National Enquirer during the Simpson trial.[5]

In 1980, Clark married her second husband, Gordon Clark, a computer programmer and systems administrator who was employed at the Church of Scientology.[8][38] They were divorced in 1995 and had two sons.[8] Gordon argued at a custody hearing during the Simpson trial that he should receive full custody of their children given the long hours that Marcia had spent working for the trial.[5]

Clark no longer considers herself religious, although she was raised Jewish and her first wedding was a Conservative Jewish ceremony.[8] She was a member of the Church of Scientology until 1980.[8]

Clark resides in Calabasas, California.[8]



  • Without a Doubt with Teresa Carpenter (1997). Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-670-87089-9

Rachel Knight series[edit]

Samantha Brinkman series[edit]


  1. ^ "Marcia Rachel Kleks - California Birth Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (April 5, 2016). "Marcia Clark's Final Verdict on The People v. O.J. Simpson". Vulture. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  3. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (January 9, 1995). "True Grit". The New Yorker. p. 28. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  4. ^ Breslin, Jimmy (August 1995). "Marcia Clark". Esquire. 124 (2): 48.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Adams, Lorraine (August 20, 1995). "The Fight of Her Life". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "Staten Island on the Web: Famous Staten Islanders". The New York Public Library. Archived from the original on June 17, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  7. ^ "Marcia Rachel Clark". The State Bar of California. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Galloway, Stephen (March 30, 2016). "Marcia Clark on Her Rape, Scientology Flirtation and When She Last Saw O.J." The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  9. ^ Margolick, David (January 22, 1995). "The Murder Case of a Lifetime Gets a Murder Prosecutor of Distinction". The New York Times. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  10. ^ Traister, Rebecca (February 2016). "Marcia Clark Is Redeemed". New York Magazine. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "Marcia Clark". WME Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  12. ^ "Obsessed Fan of Actress Was 'Sick,' Doctor Says". Los Angeles Times. October 23, 1991. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ a b Felsenthal, Julia (January 28, 2016). "American Crime Story and the Vindication of O.J. Simpson Prosecutor Marcia Clark". Archived from the original on April 21, 2023. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  15. ^ Daunt, Tina (April 12, 1995). "A Good Hair Day: Prosecutor Maria Clark Sheds Curls for a New Look". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  16. ^ "Marcia Clark resigns as prosecutor". CNN. January 9, 1997. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "Marcia Clark". The Daily Beast. April 7, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  18. ^ a b c Sandberg, Bryn Elise (August 26, 2016). "Marcia Clark Legal Drama Scores NBC Put Pilot Commitment". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  19. ^ "Guilt By Association by Marcia Clark". Kirkus Reviews. April 5, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  20. ^ "Guilt By Degrees by Marcia Clark". Kirkus Reviews. May 7, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  21. ^ "Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark". Kirkus Reviews. June 17, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  22. ^ "The Competition by Marcia Clark". Kirkus Reviews. June 16, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 4, 2014). "Julia Stiles To Topline TNT Drama Pilot Guilt By Association". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (August 26, 2016). "Legal Drama From Marcia Clark & Mandeville TV Lands At NBC As Put Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  25. ^ Epting, Chris (May 17, 2016). "Author Marcia Clark Goes On the Defense". The Huffington Post.
  26. ^ Tuttle, Kate (April 5, 2016). "Marcia Clark on how her new book is different than the old Marcia, Marcia, Marcia". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  27. ^ "@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.
  28. ^ Rosenberg, Alyssa (March 9, 2016). "Pop culture was vicious to Marcia Clark. A new show offers an overdue apology". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  29. ^ Upadhyaya, Kayla Kumari (April 26, 2016). "Tina Fey is here to help Kimmy Schmidt get better". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  30. ^ "List: 2015 Primetime Emmy nominees". USA Today. July 16, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  31. ^ Miller, Julie (August 26, 2016). "Marcia Clark Is Making a Semi-Autobiographical TV Series". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  32. ^ Miller, Julie (January 27, 2016). "The Man Behind O.J. Simpson's ESPN Mini-series on Resisting the Kardashians and How Our Culture Was 'O.J.'d'". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  33. ^ a b Maslow, Nick (September 18, 2016). "Sarah Paulson and Marcia Clark Pal Around on Emmys Red Carpet". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  34. ^ Weatherby, Taylor (January 8, 2017). "Here Is the 2017 Golden Globes Winners List". Billboard. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  35. ^ Rich, Katey (January 22, 2016). "How Sarah Paulson Is Turning Marcia Clark into a Feminist Hero on American Crime Story". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
  36. ^ "Gaby George Horowitz and Marcia Rachel Kleks". FamilySearch. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  37. ^ Cochrane, Kira (May 23, 2011). "Marcia Clark: life after the OJ Simpson trial". The Guardian. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  38. ^ "Gordon T Clark and Marcia R Kleks". FamilySearch. Retrieved July 3, 2016.

External links[edit]