Thursday, March 17, 2016

RIP James Sheldon

RIP James Sheldon

1920 - 2016

Film and TV director James Sheldon died on March 12, 2016 in New York City. He was 95. Sheldon wasn't just a prolific TV director -- he was one of the first TV directors, ever. Making his small-screen debut in 1948, Sheldon staked his claim to the broadcast medium for an impressive run that lasted into the 1980s. Born in 1920 in New York City, Sheldon was influenced by the films of George Cukor and Ernst Lubitsch. After college, he became a page at NBC and had early aspirations to be a radio or theater director. Starting out in live TV, he directed the schoolteacher sitcom "Mister Peepers", starring a young Tony Randall, and proved a capable hand on 1950s anthology shows such as "Studio One in Hollywood", "Armstrong Circle Theatre", and "Celebrity Playhouse". As the medium evolved, Sheldon followed. In the heyday of the Western, he directed "Death Valley Days" and "Gunsmoke". Meanwhile, on episodes of "The Donna Reed Show" and "Perry Mason", the director proved himself equally capable with comedy and drama. Some of Sheldon's most enduring work came during his tenure on Rod Serling's seminal "The Twilight Zone"; he directed "It's a Good Life," a terrifying child's fantasy become real that is often considered the series' best episode. Throughout the 1960s and '70s, Sheldon directed many of TV's top shows, including "The Fugitive", "My Three Sons", "M.A.S.H.", "Sanford and Son", and "The Love Boat". In 1986, Sheldon capped off his long run with an episode of the quirky comedy series "Sledge Hammer!"

Born: 11/12/1920, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 3/12/2016, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

James Sheldon’s westerns – director:
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1957, 1958, 1959
Black Saddle (TV) - 1959
Law of the Plainsman (TV) - 1959
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1959, 1961
The Virginian (TV) – 1962, 1968, 1969, 1970
The Brazen Bell (TV) – 1962
The Devil’s Children - 1962
Wagon Train (TV) - 1963
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1965

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