May 07, 2013

Jack Shea, Prolific TV Director and DGA Officer

Shea directed numerous popular series during a career that spanned five decades, including such top comedies as The Jeffersons, Silver Spoons and Designing Women.

Jack Shea, a a Primetime Emmy-nominated director known for his work on dozens of popular television comedies, and an active member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, died April 28, 2013, in Tarzana, California. He was 84.

According to news reports, the cause was complications from Alzheimer's disease.

A native of New York City, Shea began his career in TV's so-called golden age in the 1950s, and continued working until the late 1990s.

After gradating from New York's Fordham University, he moved to California, where he became a stage manager at NBC in Burbank.

He reportedly scored his first directing assignment at age 27, on the game show Truth or Consequences, when he was asked to fill in for the scheduled director, who was ill. From then on, he continued working, earning credits on such series as The Jerry Lewis Show, The Bob Hope Show, Death Valley Days, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, Growing Pains, The Waltons, The Golden Girls, Punky Brewster, Full House, The Golden Girls, Valerie, The Royal Family, Growing Pains and many others.

He is perhaps best known for directing 110 episodes of The Jeffersons, 91 episodes of Silver Spoons, 22 episodes of The Ropers, 15 episodes of Sanford and Son and 14 of Designing Women, one of which earned him his second Emmy nom in 1987.

In addition, Shea directed 10 Bob Hope overseas Christmas specials, wrote episodes of SIlver Spoons and The Jeffersons and was a producer on The Jeffersons.

Shea received two Emmy nominations — in 1961, for The Bob Hope Show, and in 1987, for Designing Women.

Shea was a member of the DGA for more than 50 years, and from 1997 to 2002, he served three terms as the guild's president. In 1992 he received the prestigious Robert Aldrich Award in 1992, which honors extraordinary service to the DGA and its membership.

He was also an engaged member of the Television Academy who advocated strongly on behalf of peer voting for the Primetime Emmy Awards. This position was a factor in the division that resulted in the creation of the Ls Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

More about Shea, his life and career are available at:

Archive of American Television


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