CLIVE BARKER is an English playwright, novelist, film director, and visual artist born on this date. Barker came to prominence in the mid-1980s with a series of short stories, the Books of Blood, which established him as a leading horror writer. He has since written many novels and other works, and his fiction has been adapted into films, notably the Hellraiser the first instalment of which he also wrote and directed, and Candyman series. Barker also serves as an executive producer on the film Gods and Monsters, which won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Barker’s paintings and illustrations have been featured in galleries in the United States as well as within his own books. He has created original characters and series for comic books, and some of his more popular horror stories have been featured in ongoing comics series.

During his early years as a writer, he would occasionally work as a male prostitute when his writing didn’t provide sufficient income.

In 2003, Barker received the Davidson/Valentini Award at the 15th GLAAD Media Awards.

Barker is critical of organized religion, but has said that the Bible influences his work and spirituality. In a 2003 appearance on Politically Incorrect, Barker stated that he was a Christian after Ann Coulter implied he was not, although years later, he said he does not identify as a Christian via Facebook.

In 2012, Barker went into coma for several days after having contracted toxic shock syndrome, triggered by a visit to the dentist which unloaded a spillage of poisonous bacteria into his bloodstream, almost claiming his life. Realizing he might have just a short time left to live, he decided to put his personal concerns about the world and society into the upcoming novel Deep Hill, which he then thought could be his final book. As of 2015, he is a member of the board of advisers for the Hollywood Horror Museum.

While appearing on the radio call-in show Loveline in August 1996, Barker stated that during his teens he had several relationships with older women, but came to identify himself as gay by 18 or 19 years old. His relationship with John Gregson lasted from 1975 until 1986.

He later spent 13 years with photographer David Armstrong, described as his husband in the introduction to Coldheart Canyon; they separated in 2009.