'Christmas Story' director killed by drunk
A part of our childhood memories have been shattered: Bob Clark, the director of A Christmas Story (and Porky’s, oddly enough), was killed with his son in a car crash, the L.A. Times says. He was 67. Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, also was in a car on the Pacific Coast Highway in the Pacific Palisades Wednesday when it was hit head on by a drunk driving an SUV who had crossed into the wrong lane. The driver of the other vehicle, Hector Velazquez-Nava, 24, of Los Angeles was arrested and booked for investigation of driving under the influence of alcohol and gross vehicular manslaughter, the AP reports. He was being held on $100,000 bail.
Clark’s early career included ’70’s horror schlock like Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Black Christmas. His 1981 breakout Porky’s and its sequel helped him direct, co-produce and co-write his famous adaptation of Jean Shepherd’s childhood memoir of Christmas avarice. Among Clark’s other movies were Sylvester Stallone's and Dolly Parton’s Rhinestone, Timothy Hutton’s Turk 182! and Gene Hackman's and Dan Aykroyd’s Loose Cannons. “It’s a tragic day for all of us who knew and loved Bob Clark,” said Scott Schwartz, who played the flagpole-licking character Flick. “Bob was a fun-lovin’, jelly-roll kinda guy who will be sorely missed.”
[Photo: From left, A Christmas Story alumni R. D. Robb, Ian Petrella, Peter Billingsley, director Bob Clark, Scott Schwartz and Zack Ward in 2003. AP]