Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Barker represents one of popular fiction's rarest combinations, a best-selling author who is also praised by his peers as a highly talented writer in the tradition of Henry James and Edgar Allan Poe. He began writing short stories while running the London theater company he founded at the age of 21. His six-volume collection Books of Blood (1984–86) includes dozens of these unflinchingly grotesque stories, many of which have been adapted as horror movies. After early disappointments with some of these adaptations, Barker began adapting and directing his own work. Among his best-known films are the Hellraiser series (1987, 1988, 1992, 1996) and Candyman and its sequel (1992, 1995).