Shaft Director Parks Dies

African-American directing pioneer GORDON PARKS died in New York yesterday (07MAR06). He was 93. The film-maker and photographer had been suffering ill health for some time, his nephew CHARLES PARKS confirms. Parks suffered a difficult childhood, growing up in poverty-ridden Kansas as the youngest of 15 children, before being orphaned at aged 15, which left him homeless. After starting his photography career in the late 1930s, Parks became Life magazine's first ever black photographer in the 1940s and remained at the publication until 1968. During his time at Life, Parks photographed civil rights leader MALCOLM X and the Black Panthers. His photos of Malcolm X appeared in the 1992 film starring DENZEL WASHINGTON and he was made godfather of the black rights campaigner's daughter QUIBILAH SHABAZZ. During World War II, Parks worked as a correspondent for the United States Office Of War Information. After decades as a photographer, Parks wrote, produced and directed THE LEARNING TREE in 1969, based on his 1963 autobiographical novel. The film entered the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress - which preserves movies of national importance - in 1989. Parks became Hollywood's first major black director when he directed SHAFT, starring RICHARD ROUNDTREE as the suave detective JOHN SHAFT, in 1971 and the sequel SHAFT'S BIG SCORE in 1972. Parks' son GORDON PARKS JNR - from his second marriage to ELIZABETH CAMPBELL - directed another Shaft sequel SUPERFLY in 1972. Tragically, Parks Jnr was killed in a plane crash in Kenya in 1979. Life's managing editor, BILL SHAPIRO, says, "(Life has) lost one of its dearest members. Gordon was one of the magazine's most accomplished shooters and one of the very greatest American photographers of the 20th century. "He moved as easily among the glamorous figures of Hollywood and Paris as he did among the poor in Brazil and the powerful in Washington." Parks is survived by a son and two daughters, from his first marriage to SALLY ALVIS.


Contactmusic

Tags: Gordon Parks - CHARLES PARKS - Malcolm X - Denzel Washington - QUIBILAH SHABAZZ - Shaft - Richard Roundtree - JOHN SHAFT - Superfly - BILL SHAPIRO


Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Surprise, Surprise: Thanks To Marvel, Robert Downey Jr. Continues His Reign As Hollywood's Richest Actor

It’s that time of the year again. With Forbes having published its...

Surprise, Surprise: Thanks To Marvel, Robert Downey Jr. Continues His Reign As Hollywood's Richest Actor

Simpsons Mania: FXX To Put Every Episode Online

American cable network FXX struck a deal last year to buy the rights to the...

Simpsons Mania: FXX To Put Every Episode Online

Beyonce Fends Off Divorce Rumours With Cute Instagram Snap

Rumours that a seperation is imminent have plagued the music power couple...

Beyonce Fends Off Divorce Rumours With Cute Instagram Snap

Justin Bieber Could Face Citizen's Arrest

After being called out six times to break up a rowdy party at his new digs in Beverely Hills, the police...

Justin Bieber Could Face Citizen's Arrest

J.J Abrams Reveals New X-Wing Fighter in New Star Wars Episode VII Video [Pictures]

J.J Abrams treated Star Wars fans to a look at a new model of the iconic...

J.J Abrams Reveals New X-Wing Fighter in New Star Wars Episode VII Video [Pictures]

'Boyhood' has 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. It Is Almost the Perfect Movie

It's no surprise that Richard Linklater's movie Boyhood was this week...

'Boyhood' has 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. It Is Almost the Perfect Movie
Advertisement

Once Upon A Time To Add Hans to Frozen Storyline

It was announced earlier this year that ABC series 'Once Upon A Time' would be...

Once Upon A Time To Add Hans to Frozen Storyline

Did Selena Gomez Dash Off To St Tropez To Bask In A New Relationship?

I don’t know about you, but she’s feeling 22… Selena Gomez just turned...

Did Selena Gomez Dash Off To St Tropez To Bask In A New Relationship?

The Sound Of Seattle: Budweiser Made In America See How Music Has Changed In The Noisy City

Seattle has one of the most legendary music scenes in America so...

The Sound Of Seattle: Budweiser Made In America See How Music Has Changed In The Noisy City


More recommendations

Advertisement

Comments

Gordon Parks Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Gordon Parks

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All