Did You Know Director Reginald Hudlin Was Born on This Day?

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This Day In History: December 15th

With classic films such as Boomerang and Bebe’s Kids in his repertoire, it is no surprise that Reginald Hudlin is considered a powerhouse in film creation. Hudlin has served as a writer, director, or producer for dozens of projects and remains relevant through the works he has brought to viewing audiences.

Hudlin was born in Missouri on December 15, 1961. He was the youngest of three sons born to Warrington and Helen Hudlin. After witnessing his older brother successfully leave their East St. Louis neighborhood to attend Yale University, Hudlin was inspired to attend an ivy league school himself. In 1983, Hudlin graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in Visual and Environmental Studies. 

His senior thesis was the precursor for the movie franchise, House Party. The 20-minute short film led to a deal with New Line Cinema, and he was able to write and direct a feature film version of House Party (1990). The film was packed with stars such as Kid ‘N’ Play, Martin Lawrence and Robin Harris. Hudlin followed up his first successful feature film with the release of Boomerang in 1992. The film starred Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Eartha Kitt and other stars in Black Hollywood. 

While working on Boomerang, Hudlin also served as an executive producer for the animated film Bebe’s Kids (1992). The cartoon was based on comic routines performed by Robin Harris. With several fan favorites under his belt, Hudlin continued to be a force in the film industry. He directed a segment in Cosmic Slop (1994), an anthology styled after the Twilight Zone, for HBO and hosted by George Clinton

Hudlin took his talents to the realm of comics and began writing Marvel’s Black Panther series in 2004. He also produced and directed for projects including The Bernie Mac Show, Everybody Hates Chris, The Boondocks and Django Unchained. He has even served as an executive producer for OWN Specials, the NAACP Image Awards and the Emmys. 

In addition to his work in film, television and comics, Hudlin has been able to expand into the role of a business executive. In 2005 he was named President of Entertainment for Black Entertainment Television (BET) Networks and remained in the role for three years. Over the course of his career, Hudlin has received nominations for an Emmy, Oscar, NAACP Image Award and an Academy Award. He is the recipient of a CableACE Award, Sundance Film Festival Filmmakers Trophy and Black Reel Award. 

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