Film and television director Allen Reisner died April 8 of natural causes in Beverly Hills. He was 80.
Reisner began his career in 1941 in New York as an actor. He worked on Broadway until 1950, appearing in plays such as “Junior Miss,” “No Exit,” and “Home of the Brave.” During this time, he also worked on live TV, appearing on “Philco Playhouse” and the “NBC Repertory Theater.”
In 1950, Yul Brynner suggested he switch from actor to assistant director. When Brynner left to tour in the “The King and I,” Reisner moved up to director. He remained under contract to CBS from 1950-1956 directing such classic shows of the Golden Age of television as “Suspense,” “Danger,” and “Studio One”.
After moving to Hollywood in 1954, he continued directing TV shows for the next three decades. For early shows such as “Climax.” “Playhouse 90,” “Twilight Zone” and “Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse,” he directed many stars doing live television for the first time, including Shelly Winters, Claudette Colbert, Edward G. Robinson, David Niven, John Forsythe and John Cassavetes.
Reisner’s hundreds of television directing credits include “Hawaii 5-0,” “Gunsmoke,” “Route 66,” “Marcus Welby,” “Kojak” and “Murder She Wrote.” He also directed several TV films during this period.
His best-known theatrical features are “St. Louis Blues” with Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt, and Ella Fitzgerald, and “All Mine to Give” with Glynis Johns and Cameron Mitchell.
Reisner is survived by his wife, actress Faith Quabius, a brother, three stepchildren and a grandson.
Donations may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association.