skip navigation
Stan Lathan

Stan Lathan

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Cedric the Entertainer: Taking You Higher... Veteran comedian Cedric the Entertainer returns for a hilarious comedy special... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Sesame Street: We All Sing Together... Everyone's favorite anchor monster, Herry, hosts The Monster Report, a... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Elmo's World: Babies, Dogs & More!... Everyone's favorite three-year-old is back in his special world! With his pet... more info $12.99was $12.99 Buy Now

It's Black Entertainment... Vanessa Williams hosts “It's Black Entertainment” (2002), a tribute to... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Sesame Street: Guess That Shape And Color... You're invited to play a shapes guessing game with Elmo and Zoe and their... more info $12.99was $12.99 Buy Now

Sesame Street: Imagine, Play and Learn... Disc 1 - "Imagine That!" Children can chase the blues away and learn how to have... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: director, producer, manager

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A prolific black American director who specializes in several TV genres but also works in features, Stan Lathan has had a significant influence on a number of black-themed sitcoms including "Sanford and Son", "Amen", "Frank's Place", "True Colors", "Roc", "Martin", "South Central", "Moesha" and "The Steve Harvey Show". He entered the industry in the 1960s through public TV as a director of educational and public affairs programs. Lathan was a director during the early days of "Sesame Street" and made a notable impact as a producer on "Black Journal". He shifted to features to direct "Save the Children/Brothers and Sisters in Concert" (1973), an all-star music documentary filmed at the 1972 exposition in Chicago held by Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH. This film featured memorable in-concert performances by such rhythm and blues luminaries as Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and The Jackson Five. His first fictional feature was "Amazing Grace" (1974), starring Jackie 'Moms' Mabley. Lathan then directed the musical variety shows "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert", "Soul Train", and several dance specials starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and the Royal...

A prolific black American director who specializes in several TV genres but also works in features, Stan Lathan has had a significant influence on a number of black-themed sitcoms including "Sanford and Son", "Amen", "Frank's Place", "True Colors", "Roc", "Martin", "South Central", "Moesha" and "The Steve Harvey Show". He entered the industry in the 1960s through public TV as a director of educational and public affairs programs. Lathan was a director during the early days of "Sesame Street" and made a notable impact as a producer on "Black Journal".

He shifted to features to direct "Save the Children/Brothers and Sisters in Concert" (1973), an all-star music documentary filmed at the 1972 exposition in Chicago held by Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH. This film featured memorable in-concert performances by such rhythm and blues luminaries as Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, and The Jackson Five. His first fictional feature was "Amazing Grace" (1974), starring Jackie 'Moms' Mabley. Lathan then directed the musical variety shows "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert", "Soul Train", and several dance specials starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. He also directed "The Flip Wilson Comedy Special" (1975), "The Muhammad Ali Variety Special" (1975), and "Broadway Plays Washington!/Kennedy Center Tonight" (1982). In 1984, Lathan directed "Beat Street", one of the first mainstream features to exploit the world of breakdancing and rap music. He also directed episodes of the TV version of "Fame" and several failed music-based pilots.

Lathan has directed many episodes of less ethnocentric sitcoms including "Eight is Enough", "It's Garry Shandling's Show!", and "Good Sports", starring the fair-haired duo of Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett. He is also adept at other TV genres, having worked on the dramatic series "The Waltons" and "Falcon Crest" and the cop/detective shows "Hill Street Blues", "Remington Steele", and "Miami Vice".

Lathan has helmed several classy TV movies with black themes--"The Child Saver" (1988),"Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1987), and most impressively, "Go Tell It on the Mountain", an assured adaptation of James Baldwin's powerful first novel featuring memorable performances by Paul Winfield, James Bond III, Rosalind Cash, Ruby Dee, and Alfre Woodard.

Two sitcoms Lathan directed for Fox feature charismatic black leads; he became the primary director on "Roc", which aired live for its second season and starred Charles S. Dutton, and "Martin", a wildly funny sitcom starring comic Martin Lawrence that showcases and skewers black machismo. He displayed a deft comic touch and flair for familial warmth as director of the pilot and subsequent episodes in the first season of the popular UPN sitcom "Moesha", starring pop singer-turned-actor Brandy. Since the fall of 1996 to 2002, Lathan was involved as director and executive producer of "The Steve Harvey Show" (The WB), which starred the host of "Showtime at the Apollo". The following year, Lathan served as Executive Producer and Director of the Peabody Award winning "Def Poetry Jam" on HBO.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Child Saver, The (1988) Director
3.
  Uncle Tom's Cabin (1987) Director
4.
5.
  Beat Street (1984) Director
6.
  Richard Pryor Here and Now (1983) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)
7.
  Amazing Grace (1974) Director
8.
  Save the Children (1973) Director
10.

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1965:
Began his career at age 21 as the director of "Say, Brother", a weekly magazine show, produced by Boston's PBS affiliate, WBGH-TV (date approximate)
:
Moved to New York City
1969:
Directed segments of "Sesame Street" (PBS)
:
Produced documentaries for "Black Journal" on PBS
1973:
Feature debut as director of "Save the Children", a music documentary of the 1972 exposition in Chicago held by Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH
1974:
Directed "Amazing Grace", the only film to star comedian Moms Mabley
1975:
Directed multiple episodes of the NBC sitcom "Sanford and Son"
1984:
Directed the feature, "Beat Street", a trendy musical featuring breakdancing and rapping
1984:
Helmed the adaptation of James Baldwin's "Go Tell It on the Mountain" for PBS' "American Playhouse"
1984:
Directed "Booker", a biopic for young people about the young Booker T. Washington for "Wonderworks" (PBS)
:
Helmed episodes of NBC's award-winning police drama "Hill Street Blues"
1986:
Directed the premiere and subsequent episodes of the popular NBC sitcom "Amen" starring Sherman Hemsley
1987:
Directed the Showtime adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
1990:
Directed the pilot and premiere episodes of "True Colors", a Fox sitcom about an interracial family
:
Became the primary director of "Roc", the Fox sitcom starring Charles S. Dutton
:
Executive produced and directed "Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam" (HBO)
:
Directed the premiere and subsequent first season episodes of "Martin", a Fox sitcom starring Martin Lawrence
1994:
Helmed the pilot and multiple episodes of the acclaimed, but sjort-lived Fox sitcom "South Central"
1996:
Directed the pilot and subsequent episodes of "Moesha" (UPN), starring Brandy
:
Directed the pilot for The WB sitcom "The Steve Harvey Show"; executive produced and directed all subsequent episodes
1999:
Directed the pilot for the UPN spin-off sitcom "Mo'Nique"
2002:
Directed the award-winning HBO series "Def Poetry Jam"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Lathan received an Emmy nomination (with fellow producer Phil Burton and executive producer Tony Brown) for Outstanding Achievement in Magazine Type Programming (1970/71) for "Black Journal".

Lathan, along with partner Russell Simmons, co-chairs SLBG Entertainment, a talent management and production company that is a co-venture with Brillstein-Grey Entertainment. SLBG produced "Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam", HBO's cutting edge stand-up comedy series, which Lathan also directed.

He is also co-chairman of DEF Pictures, a subsidiary of Polygram Filmed Entertainment

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Eleanor McCoy. Dancer. Divorced; mother of Sanaa.

Family close complete family listing

step-son:
Tendaji. Born c. 1972.
daughter:
Sanaa Lathan. Actor. Born on September 19, 1973.
daughter:
Liliane Lathan. Born c. 1984.
daughter:
Ariel Lathan. Born c. 1985.
daughter:
Colette Lathan. Born c. 1997.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute