Mark Kirkland (born November 5, 1956) is an American animation director. He has directed 83 episodes of The Simpsons since 1990, more than any other director.
At the age of 13, Kirkland began making super 8 films and working for his father, noted photographer and filmmaker Douglas Kirkland, creating “making of” films for major production companies. This exposure to Hollywood sparked Kirkland’s desire to seek a career in the entertainment industry. Kirkland developed an interest in drawing at an early age. At the age of 17, he began studying in the Experimental Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts for four years, earning a BFA degree. There, he was mentored by people such as Jules Engel (serving as his teaching assistant), A. Kendall O’Connor, Ollie Johnston and Moe Gollub. In 1976, he won the Student Academy Award for animation along with fellow student, Richard Jefferies, for their graphically animated film made to the song “Fame” by David Bowie. After finishing up his degree, he applied to Disney, but he was not accepted and instead began working for Hanna-Barbera. He began working on The Simpsons from season two onwards and has directed 82 episodes, more than any other director. In season 18, he became the show’s supervising director.