Stan Lathan - Living Legend Award

Stan Lathan is an accomplished producer and one of Hollywood’s most prolific directors of television and film.

Lathan has had great success in the comedy arena. He directed the pilots for many successful sitcoms including, “Martin,” “Moesha,” “The Parkers,” “The Steve Harvey Show,” “Amen,” “Cedric The Entertainer Presents,” “All of Us,” and “The Soul Man.” Most recently he executive produced and directed the pilot and series “The Real Husbands of Hollywood” starring Kevin Hart.

He executive produced and directed Dave Chappelle’s comedy specials, “Killin’ them Softly” for HBO, and “For What It’s Worth” for Showtime. He executive produced and directed six Chappelle Netflix specials for which he received three Emmy Awards for Producing and an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special.

He also executive produced and directed Cedric The Entertainer’s “Taking You Higher” a one-hour comedy special for HBO and “It’s Black Entertainment,” a two-hour musical documentary for Showtime.

He began directing network television in 1974, when he was brought to LA to direct multiple episodes of “Sanford & Son.” He went on to direct such shows as “Hill St. Blues,” “Miami Vice,” “Cagney & Lacy,” “Frank’s Place,” “Roc” and many others. He also directed the feature film “Beat Street” for Orion Pictures. Mr. Lathan has contributed to some of the most prestigious performance arts series on public television. For PBS he directed the dance special “Alvin Ailey: Memories & Visions”. In addition, he directed dramas for some of public television’s most distinguished series such as “Great Performances,” “American Playhouse,” “The American Short Story,” and “Wonder Works.” He was also one of the first directors of Sesame Street.

In 1989, Lathan co-created one of the most successful comedy franchises in entertainment: HBO’s smash hit “Def Comedy Jam” series, which helped start the careers of some of today’s biggest television & movie stars. The franchise also launched an overwhelmingly successful national tour that ran for six years.

Committed to producing culturally significant entertainment and discovering new creative talent, Lathan helped establish the Simmons Lathan Media Group, a film and television production and acquisitions company whose mission was to develop and distribute diverse urban content across a variety of media platforms.

In 2003, the duo was honored with a Peabody Award for their groundbreaking series Def Poetry on HBO. That same year, Lathan produced and directed Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, which won a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. The show has since toured domestically and internationally. In 2008 Lathan created and executive produced Brave New Voices, a critically acclaimed docu/reality series for HBO.

In 2009, Lathan staged and directed An Evening of Poetry, Music and Spoken Word hosted by The President and Mrs. Obama in the East Room of The White House.

Mr. Lathan recently received the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caucus for Producers Writers and Directors. In May 2014, he was honored by the Directors Guild of America for his distinguished directing career. He has received six NAACP Image Awards. He was also chosen by the Producers Caucus to receive the 2004 Diversity Award for developing and creating programs and employment opportunities for minorities. In 2017 received the Apollo Theatre Trailblazer Award.

Stan Lathan continues his personal journey of achievement, leadership and mentoring, shepherding new generations of comedic talent, urban storytellers and filmmakers.

Mr. Lathan lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Marguerite and is the proud father of five.