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Sat, 06.30.1956

Paris Barclay, a TV/Film influence

Paris Barclay

Paris Barclay was born on this date in 1956. He is an African American television director and producer.

From Chicago Heights, Illinois, Paris KC Barclay was one of the first African Americans to attend the La Lumiere School, a prestigious, private preparatory school in La Porte, IN, on scholarship. He went to Harvard College, he was a classmate of Supreme Court Judge John Roberts and was active in student musical theatre productions.  While at Harvard, he wrote 16 musicals, including the annual Hasty Pudding shows.

Following graduation, he worked in advertising and then his career began as a television director. An episode of Angel Street began his career in television direction.  Barclay has directed commercials and music videos.  He created pieces for Bob Dylan, New Kids on the Block, Janet Jackson, and Luther Vandross, and most notably, eight videos for LL Cool J including the innovative and MTV Award winning "Mama Said Knock You Out."

During the 1990s he had a long association with Steven Bochco, primarily on NYPD Blue. Together they created City of Angels, a medical drama with a predominantly African American cast. Since that time he has directed a wide variety of one-hour television dramas. He has produced on the series Cold Case, of which he has also directed eight episodes. He has also been nominated for a Directors Guild of America (DGA) award for directing episodes of ER, House, the West Wing, Lost, CSI, Dirt, and numerous episodes of The Shield.

An openly gay Man since late in his college days, he had been a regular contributor to The Advocate for several years.  He has received numerous other accolades (including the Peabody Award, and two NAACP Image Awards).  In 2001, he wrote the book, music, and lyrics for the musical "One Red Flower," based on the collection Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam.  It has been produced in Boston, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C.

Barclay was the co-executive producer and principal director of HBO's upcoming drama series, In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne, Dianne Wiest, Blair Underwood, Josh Charles, and Melissa George. From 2013 to 2017, Barclay served two terms as the President of the Directors Guild of America.   In early 2019, Paris teamed up with the Human Rights Campaign  to produce and direct a star-studded Americans for the Equality Act public awareness and advertising campaign.  Launched on March 25, 2019 with a debut video featuring Sally Field and her son, it featured prominent figures in entertainment, sports and beyond speaking about the need for the Equality Act.

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