Raised the youngest of three children in Richmond, California
Acted off-Broadway at Joseph Papp's Public Theater
Feature acting debut, "Five on the Black Hand Side", credited as Carl Mikal Franklin
TV acting debut, "It Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy", a TV-movie comedy about a male rape victim
TV series debut, "Caribe" (ABC), an exotic cop drama with Stacy Keach
Co-starred on "The Fantastic Journey", a short-lived NBC sci-fi series
First TV special, NBC team member in "Battle of the Network Stars II"
TV miniseries debut, "Loose Change/Those Restless Years" on NBC-TV
Co-starred in the unsold Western TV-movie/pilot "The Legend of the Golden Gun" on NBC
Cast as a regular on "McClain's Law" on NBC, a cop drama vehicle for James Arness
Played the recurring role of Captain Crane on the popular NBC action comedy series "The A-Team"
Debut as a writer-director, "Punk", a short film made as Franklin's masters thesis at AFI (broadcast in 1993 as a presentation of "Alive TV" on PBS)
Feature directing and screenwriting debut, "Eye of the Eagle II: Inside the Enemy"; also acted in first feature appearance in 16 years; first feature made in association with Roger Corman's Concorde Pictures (here acting as a distributor)
Scripted, directed and/or acted in subsequent genre quickies for Corman: "Nowhere to Run", "Last Stand at Lang Mei" (both 1989); "Full Fathom Five" (1990); "Eye of the Eagle 3"; and "In the Heat of Passion" (both 1992)
Breakthrough feature directing assignment, the critically acclaimed crime drama "One False Move"
TV miniseries directing debut, "Laurel Avenue" on HBO
Wrote and directed an acclaimed but little seen adaptation of Walter Mosley's "Devil in a Blue Dress", starring Denzel Washington
Helmed the moving adaptation of Anna Quindlen's autobiographical novel "One True Thing", starring Renee Zellweger and Meryl Streep