Oscar Rudolph

Oscar Rudolph, 79, who directed such diverse tv series as “The Donna Reed Show” and “Batman,” died Feb. 1 in Encino, Calif., following a stroke.

Rudolph, the father of film director Alan Rudolph, directed more than 500 tv shows, including “My Favorite Martian,” “The Brady Bunch,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Love, American Style,” “Tightrope,” “The Ann Sothern Show,” “Navy Log,” “The Bob Cummings Show” and “Private Secretary.”

Born in Cleveland, Rudolph moved with his family to California in 1924 and became a child actor with a supporting role in Mary Pickford’s “Little Annie Rooney.” Among the films he appeared in were the 1929 “So This Is College” with Joan Crawford and 1933’s Cecil B. DeMille epic of juvenile delinquency, “This Day And Age.”

He segued into directing at Paramount and is credited as assistant director on such films as “A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court,” “My Friend Irma,” “Road To Rio” and “Salty O’Rourke.”

His tv directing career began with “The Hunter” for first CBS and then NBC. Filmed in New York from 1952 to 1954, the half-hour cold war spy series starred Barry Nelson.

That was followed by “The Thin Man” series for NBC from 1957 to 1959, starring Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk.

Rudolph directed his first theatrical film in 1954,20th Century Fox’ “Rocket Man.” He also directed the 1962 Columbia release “Don’t Knock The Twist” with Chubby Checker.

He was second-unit director on Robert Aldrich’s “Flight Of The Phoenix,” “Four For Texas” and “Sodom And Gomorrah.”

In addition to his son, Rudolph is survived by his wife of 53 years, Sylvia, and his daughter, Susan Hill.

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