Mark Lester

Mark L. Lester (born November 26, 1946) is an American writer, producer, and director, primarily of action films.

After his debut in 1970 with the film Just Can’t Reach, he went on to make his mark with such memorable drive-in fare as Truck Stop Women and Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw. In 1979, he jumped on the disco bandwagon with Roller Boogie starring Linda Blair, to modest success. He then made the exploitation thriller Class of 1984, which was a source of controversy at the time of release, but has since gained cult status.


He entered the mainstream in 1984 with Stephen King‘s Firestarter and had his biggest hit in 1985 with Commando, an Arnold Schwarzenegger action film that grossed over $57 million worldwide. He also directed and produced his sole comedy, Armed and Dangerous starring John Candy, Eugene Levy and Meg Ryan in 1986. In 1989, he directed Class of 1999, a loose sequel to Class of 1984. Then in 1990, he directed the cult classic Showdown in Little Tokyo starring Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee.


He also founded American World Pictures, an independent production and distribution company. Recent films include The Base, an action film; the thrillers Blowback and Hitman’s Run; and for TV, Pterodactyl (produced for the Sci Fi Channel). In 2012, after getting a divorce from Dubovsky, he formed a new distribution company called Titan Global Entertainment.


In January 2013, almost 10 years after directing his last picture, Lester helmed the film Poseidon Rex on location in Belize. The production was disrupted briefly when its lead, Corin Nemec was severely injured during a boating accident while the Belizean Coast Guard was transporting the cast to set.[1] He was replaced by “Charmed” co-star, Brian Krause.[2]


Other credits include Night of the Running Man, Extreme Justice, and Stunts.


Lester married Dana Dubovsky, who he now works with and had two children, Jason and Justin. He also has a daughter, Janessa (James), who is a musician and singer-songwriter, from a prior relationship.