Honoree associated with 'beloved TV classics'

Emmy-winning director John Rich has been tapped to receive the Directors Guild of America’s Honorary Life Member Award.

The kudo, to be presented March 1 at the DGA’s Awards banquet at the Century Plaza Hotel, is given “in recognition of outstanding creative achievement, contribution to the DGA or the profession of directing.”

Past recipients include Frank Capra, Gil Cates, Charlie Chaplin, Charles Champlin, Barry Diller, Walt Disney, Elia Kazan, David Lean, Sidney Lumet, Louis B. Mayer, Elliot Silverstein, Jack L. Warner, Robert Wise, Jack Valenti and Delbert Mann.

“John Rich’s unique vision and formidable directing talents become evident the minute you glance at his list of credits, which contain some of the most beloved TV classics of all time,” said DGA prexy Martha Coolidge. “He is a gifted director and has been an active member of our Guild for nearly five decades. John is truly deserving of this honor.”

Rich’s directing career began in the 1950s on comedies such as “I Married Joan” and “Our Miss Brooks.” Other TV credits include “Gunsmoke,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Gilligan’s Island” (pilot and series), “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Jeffersons” (pilot and series), “Barney Miller” (pilot and series), “Newhart” (pilot and series) and “Murphy Brown.”

He also directed the features “Wives and Lovers,” “The New Interns,” “Roustabout,” “Boeing-Boeing” and “Easy Come, Easy Go.”

Rich received the DGA Robert B. Aldrich Award for service to the Guild and its membership in 1993; the DGA Special Class Television Award for most outstanding TV director in 1971; the DGA Directors Award for comedy series for “All in the Family” in 1971; and was nominated for the comedy series “All in the Family” in 1972.

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