Birth name: Reginald Alan Hudlin
Born in East Saint Louis, Illinois, Hudlin and his older brother Warrington grew up two doors down from singer Tina Turner.
While attending Harvard University, Hudlin wrote and directed a 20-minute thesis film, which formed the basis for his first feature, House Party.
Released in 1990, House Party was both a critical and commercial hit.
The film won glowing reviews and took the Filmmakers Trophy and Best Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
The $2.5 million feature grossed $27 million at the box office and created a franchise, with two sequels - a Saturday morning cartoon and a comic strip.
Success struck again, and this time the film would gross $130 million worldwide. It also expanded the film genre with a breakthrough depiction of the black middle class.
Hudlin tried television in 1995, producing and creating Cosmic Slop which was inspired by the Twilight Zone style anthology and hosted by George Clinton.
He won a Cable Ace award for his efforts.
Trashed by the critics, and with low box office results, it marked the first hiccup in Hudlin's resumé.
Besides directing, producing and writing, Hudlin has worked as an actor, taking small roles in various films including House Party playing a burglar, Boomerang playing a street hustler and Joe's Apartment lending his voice to Rodney Roach.