Barry Pollack

Barry Pollack's life has been a merry-go-round where he continues to try to catch that brass ring that defines him as a writer. After graduating from Penn State, he went on to get a master’s in film from Stanford. Among his work there was a documentary called Some of My Best Friends Are Bottomless Dancers. That lascivious title, and a few film festival prizes, led to Barry’s being accepted as one of the first writing-directing fellows at the American Film Institute.

His opportunity to become a professional “paid” writer came after he spent a summer traveling with carnie folk, researching for a documentary film. Barry came to know nearly every “freak” in the United States that summer—the fat lady, the pincushion man, midgets, and giants. As a result, he had the perfect background for Roger Corman to hire him as the casting director for a movie called Freaks. That picture was never made, but after showing the Cormans some of his writing, Pollack was hired to write the remake of John Huston’s Asphalt Jungle and turn it into a “black” film. That is how in 1972 Barry Pollack became the white “black exploitation” writer-director of the MGM film Cool Breeze. That picture did relatively well, but his next film, This Is a Hijack, he ignobly claims as being one of the top-ten worst pictures in the history of cinema. Barry says, as the cliché goes, “I couldn’t get arrested after that as a director.” So, after mulling over his options in the film industry, Pollack made a drastic career change. He went to medical school and became a doctor, graduating from the University of Oklahoma Medical School in 1980.

Pollack began writing again during his residency in emergency medicine at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. Since then, he’s written prime-time television dramas for Trapper John, M.D. and Hotel, several magazine short stories and un-produced screenplays, ten years of newspaper columns for the Scripps-Howard Ventura County STAR, and in December 2009 his debut novel, FORTY-EIGHT X: The Lemuria Project, published by Medallion Press. Barry Pollack’s writer’s merry-go-round continues.