No less than Ken Burns has said, “Nobody gets Mark Twain the way Mark Dawidziak does.” The television critic at Cleveland’s Plain Dealer since 1999, Mark Dawidziak is the author of many books, including Mark My Words: Mark Twain on Writing, Horton Foote’s The Shape of the River: The Lost Teleplay About Mark Twain, Mark Twain in Ohio, and Mark Twain’s Guide Diet, Exercise, Beauty, Fashion, Investment, Romance, Health and Happiness. He has four times been the guest scholar at Elmira College’s Center for Mark Twain Studies.
In addition to being a recognized Twain scholar, he has been portraying Mark Twain on stage for 36 years. A television, film and theater critic for more than 37 years and an adjunct faculty professor at Kent State University since 2009, his other books include the 1994 horror novel Grave Secrets, The Bedside, Bathtub and Armchair Companion to Dracula, and two histories of landmark television series, The Columbo Phile, and The Night Stalker Companion. He and Paul J. Bauer are the co-authors of Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler, the first full-length biography of the “hobo writer” from Ohio. Before joining the Plain Dealer, he spent 16 years at the Akron Beacon Journal, holding such posts as TV critic, film critic, and critic-at-large.