Clive Barker

Active - 1973 - 2021  |   Born - Oct 5, 1952 in Liverpool, England  |   Genres - Horror

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Clive Barker is one of the premiere contemporary writers of horror novels. Born, raised and educated in England, Barker started out as founder, playwright and director of a small theater group in London that staged such interestingly titled plays as Frankenstein in Love and The History of the Devil. When not working at the theater, Barker began writing short horror stories. He didn't think there was much of a market for them, but he was wrong, and his work began appearing in magazines. Eventually his stories were published as a three volume set and titled The Books of Blood. They became quite popular and enabled Barker to begin writing and directing horror films; he also worked as executive producer on some of his films. As a filmmaker, Barker attempts to create serious, non-campy horror films. He debuted as a director in 1987 with Hellraiser, which is based on one of his novellas and features a character Barker calls "the Noel Coward of the lower depths," but who audiences more affectionately refer to as "Pinhead." The film was a critical and box-office success. Barker went on to produce two sequels and to occasionally act in films. More recently, he has moved towards writing fantasy fiction. In 1992, he wrote and illustrated a children's book, The Thief of Always. In 1995 he wrote, produced, and directed the horror film Lord of Illusions. Over the next few years he continued to be a prolific fiction writer, and also lend his hand in various capacities to Candyman and Hellraiser sequels. One of the standout credits in his filmography is executive producer for the drama Gods and Monsters, and another one of his short stories was adapted into the 2008 horror film The Midnight Meat Train.

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  • Attended the same school as actor Doug Bradley, who later played Pinhead in his Hellraiser series.
  • Won a World Fantasy Award for Best Anthology or Collection in 1985 for Clive Barker's Books of Blood.
  • Made his feature-film directorial debut with the 1987 horror classic Hellraiser, which was based on his novella The Hellbound Heart
  • Wrote and illustrated a children's book, The Thief of Always, in 1992; he followed that with a young adult series, The Books of Abarat
  • Presented his artwork in a 1993 exhibition titled Clive Barker: Paintings and Drawings 1973-1993 at a New York City Soho art gallery.
  • Released Memory, Prophecy and Fantasy: The World and Works of Clive Barker, a retrospective of his writings and artwork, in two volumes in 2009 and 2010.