Director John Rich dies at 85

TV helmer of 'All in the Family,' 'Jeffersons' won Emmy for 'Dick Van Dyke'

Director John Rich died Sunday from heart failure after a brief illness. He was 85.

He directed such sitcoms as “Where’s Raymond?,” “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” “Newhart,” “Barney Miller,” “Benson,” “The Brady Bunch” and “Mister Ed.” Feature credits included “Wives and Lovers,” “Boeing Boeing,” “Roustabout” and “Easy Come, Easy Go.”

Rich won an Emmy for “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and two Emmys, two Golden Globes and two DGA awards for “All in the Family.”

He was also an Honorary Life Member of the DGA and a recipient of the DGA’s Robert B. Aldrich Award in 1993.

“We are deeply saddened to learn today of the passing of John Rich,” said DGA president Taylor Hackford. “A legendary figure in the history of TV comedy, John tirelessly served our guild for nearly six decades. He directed some of the most beloved classics of all time and his skills as a television director were unsurpassed, but no matter how busy and successful his career was, John always made time for the DGA.”

Rich became a member of the Screen Directors Guild in 1953 and was instrumental in the 1960 merger between the Screen Directors Guild and the Radio and Television Directors Guild, which formed the Directors Guild of America. In 1955, Rich was appointed an alternate on the national board, the start of more than 50 years of service on the board and the Western Directors Council.

He served as secretary (1958-59), treasurer (1965-67) and several terms as a VP (1959-60, 1960-61, 1963-65, 1967-73, 1996-97).

He was also involved in multiple negotiations as a member of the negotiations committee and served as chairman of the Directors Guild Foundation since 2005. Rich was a founding member of the DGA-Producer Pension Plan and was chairman of its Board of Trustees for seven terms.

Rich is survived by his wife of 22 years, Patricia Dodds Rich; two sons and a daughter; three stepchildren; and eight grandchildren.

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