Director Bob Clark, who made the classic A Christmas Story and other films such as Porky’s, Black Christmas, Baby Geniuses 1 and 2, and Karate Dog, was killed with his son in an auto accident
Director Bob Clark dead in car wreck
Film director Bob Clark and his son Ariel were killed in an early morning collision along a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, authorities said.
Clark directed the classic holiday film “A Christmas Story” in 1983 and was the producer of the “Porky’s” films, along with about two dozen other features.
The crash was reported about 2:20 a.m. on PCH just south of Bay Club Drive. Police said Clark, 67, of Pacific Palisades, and his son, who was 22 and lived in Santa Monica, were pronounced dead at the scene.
LAPD investigators said Clark was driving a 1997 Infiniti Q-30 sedan southbound on PCH when the driver of a GMC Yukon, Hector Valazquez-Nava, 24, of Los Angeles swerved and hit the Clark vehicle head-on.
The road was closed until about 10:40 while authorities investigated.
Nava and a 29-year-old Azusa woman were transported to a local hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries, said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.
Nava was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol and operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license. After treatment, he was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and gross vehicular manslaughter, Vernon said.
Clark produced, directed and co-wrote “A Christmas Story.”
Set in the 1940s and adapted from humorist Jean Shepherd’s novel “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,” “A Christmas Story” stars Peter Billingsly as Ralphie, a young boy determined to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.
The film was not an immediate box office bonanza, but it has grown in popularity over the years.
In a 1997 interview with The Times, Clark said the movie has struck a chord with audiences because it deals with a “special time and special feeling. Shepherd’s material had the truth and heart in it.”
The “Porky’s” franchise was also a surprise hit and took years to get off the ground. At first, Hollywood studios rejected the pitches for the film. The franchise went on to earn more than $150 million domestically, according to boxofficemojo.com
The films were based on Clark’s experiences during the ’50s a with his high school buddies in Florida.
In a 1985 interview with The Times, co-writer Roger Swaybill talked about how Clark dictated the outline for the movie into a cassette recorder while sick.
“I was weeping with laughter,” Swaybill said then. “I became convinced that I was sharing in the birth of a major moment in movie history. It was the funniest film story I had ever heard.”
He will be missed