Melvin Van Peebles stunned the world for the first time, with his debut feature, The Story of a Three Day Pass. Filmed in France and selected as the French entry in the San Francisco Film Festival, Melvin’s film was awarded the top prize. Saying it was controversial would be an understatement. In 1968 for a black man to walk up to the podium and accept the top festival award for a film he had to go abroad to make—now that’s how you make your mark. After his comedy, Watermelon Man, Melvin was determined to push the Hollywood boundaries with the groundbreaking, and even more controversial, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Turned down by every major studio including Columbia, where he had a three-picture deal, Melvin was forced to basically self-finance. Risking everything he had Melvin delivered to the world the first Black Ghetto hero on the big screen—whether they were ready or not! More than 30 years later… –IMDb
Van Peebles was born in Mexico City, Mexico, the son of writer, director and actor Melvin Van Peebles and German actress and photographer Maria Marx. He graduated from Saint Thomas More School in Connecticut in 1974 and from Columbia University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Over the next 30 years, Van Peebles starred in and directed many television shows & films with Pam Grier , including Lost, Panther, Ali and New Jack City.
His 2004 biopic BAADASSSSS! describes the making of his father’s seminal film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Van Peebles also directed Malcolm Takes a Shot, a CBS Schoolbreak Special about an aspiring high-school basketball-star whose obstacles include epilepsy and a disparaging attitude towards teamwork. Mario gave himself a cameo in the special, as Malcolm’s doctor.
Van Peebles stars on the television show Damages, as Agent Harrison. Van Peebles was first brought on to the FX series to direct a few Season 1 episodes… read more