Clinco, Paul Edouard
Paul Edward Clinco was a talented, complex, brilliant, and eclectic physician, writer, bluesman, actor, philosopher, filmmaker, scholar, historian, counter-bodybuilder, father, husband, brother, and friend. His interests were broad and took him on adventures and cultural pilgrimages. Born in Santa Monica, California on April 16, 1948, to Arthur and Martha Romm Clinco, he was the youngest of three siblings and grew up in Mandeville Canyon.
Paul attended Harvard School in Los Angeles. There he started the fencing club and drama program, and directed and acted in many plays. He enrolled at UC Santa Barbara, then UC Riverside, and was a leading performer on the stages at UCLA where he earned a degree in theater. He then attended USC where he earned an MD. He moved to New York for his medical residency at Mount Sinai Hospital where he met his future wife, Judy Briggs. He was part of the first resident physician strike in the United States, which resulted in better working conditions and reduced hours. Never limited to the role of doctor, Paul was involved with Renaissance swords and swordsmen, became fond of medieval history, began collecting rare books and played blues music in any bar which had a piano.
In 1977, Judy and Paul moved to Tucson so Paul could complete his surgical residency at the University of Arizona Medical Center. They ended up making Tucson their forever home. They had two children: Demion Clinco in 1980 and Briggs Clinco in 1984. Paul worked as an emergency physician, then joined the urgent care team at Pima Health, then Group Health Medical Associates (GHMA), where he treated thousands of patients.
Paul was a longtime member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and was knighted in the 1980s. In the SCA he was known as Sir Gareth of Bloodwine Gorge and other characters. Paul was a blues and boogie woogie musician, singer and pianist who performed under the name “Professor Paul”. He regularly travels to Chicago to play blues with key figures in the genre, including Big Walter, Koko Taylor and Junior Wells. He recorded on Spivey Records. In Tucson, he played regularly in local taverns and bars, including a long-running gig at Terry & Zeke’s.
Paul has written numerous screenplays, published numerous short stories, and won first place in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future competition in 1987. In 1992 he produced and directed the first of two feature films, Death Magic, followed by Sweet Love and Deadly in 2008. He proudly called himself a “bookaholic”, collecting over 10,000 volumes. Paul saw himself in the opening line of his favorite novel Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini, “He was born with the gift of laughter and the feeling that the world was mad.”
Paul was a third-degree Gardnerian neo-pegan and a member of the Allworld Church. He was a proud progressive liberal his whole life. His extensive hobbies and maker interests included ham radio, tailoring, costumes, leatherwork, welding, medieval weaponry, science fiction, the occult, collecting, and woodcarving. He had a love of esotericism and rarity and infused a sense of drama, fantasy and a deep love of history and culture into the people he knew and loved.
Paul continued to play character roles in independent films and participated in many local creative projects and continued to write screenplays and participate in Tucson’s writer and film communities until he was 70 years old. Paul died peacefully at his home on May 1 (Beltane) 2022.
He is predeceased by his parents, his brother Robert Clinco and his sister Barbara (Clinco) Nudell. He is survived by his wife Judy Briggs Clinco, his children Briggs Clinco and Demion Clinco, his sister-in-law Shelly Clinco, his nephews Geoff Nudell, David Nudell, Marcus Clinco and their families. A celebration of life will be held on May 28, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at San Pedro Chapel in his 45-year-old neighborhood in Old Fort Lowell, Tucson. Arranged by Adair Dodge.