Director and producer Paul Bogart, a key figure in the days of early live television who went to helm more episodes of classic sitcom “All in the Family” than anyone else and was a producer of “The Golden Girls,” died in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Sunday. He was 92.
Bogart amassed five Emmys and 16 nominations during an almost five-decade career in TV. He brought a vast amount of adapted stage material to the smallscreen over the course of his career, including John Gielgud’s one-man Shakespeare show “Ages of Man,” Hal Holbrook’s “Mark Twain Tonight!,” versions of Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” and of musicals “Carousel” and “Kiss Me Kate,” all in the 1960s; an ABC adaptation of Neil Simon’s “Broadway Bound” in 1992; and a TNT adaptation of Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles” in 1995.
Bogart also directed feature films, including the James Garner starrers “Marlowe” and “Skin Game” as well as the “Summer of ’42” sequel “Class of ’44,” “Oh, God! You Devil” and the bigscreen adaptation of Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song Trilogy.”
A Museum of Broadcast Communications profile describes Bogart as “a singular talent among television directors. He has expressed a partiality for strong characters over a strong story. This preference takes advantage of the intimacy of the television medium, and allows those characters to reveal themselves to viewers through the nuance and subtlety of staging and blocking. Because Bogart’s aesthetic sensibilities were developed early, in the theater and live television, the episodes he directs are graced by excellent staging and movement of characters.”
Bogart began as a puppeteer in the 1940s before becoming a stage manager at NBC. That led to directing assignments on prestigious episodic anthology series such as “Kraft Theater,” “Goodyear Playhouse” and “Armstrong Circle Theater.” During this period he began a collaboration with the producer Herbert Brodkin; Bogart would later direct 20 episodes of Brodkin’s early 1960s series “The Defenders,” earning his first two Emmy nominations and his first win, and also helmed episodes of the Brodkin series “The Doctors and the Nurses.”
In 1966 he made his feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters,” starring Geraldine Page, Shelley Winters and Kim Stanley.
He helmed a number of episodes of the prestigious “CBS Playhouse” during the late 1960s, winning Emmys for “Dear Friends” and “Shadow Game.”
Other TV work included helming episodes of “Get Smart” and producing the brief Burt Reynolds series “Hawk.”
During the early 1970s he helmed a number of telepics, drawing an Emmy nom for the CBS lit adaptation “Look Homeward, Angel.” He was also one of the producers of PBS historical miniseries “The Adams Chronicles” (another Emmy nom).
From 1975-79, Bogart directed 97 episodes of “All in the Family” for Norman Lear, winning another Emmy in 1978. (He also helmed some episodes of sequel series “Archie Bunker’s Place.”)
Bogart received another Emmy, for his work as a supervising producer on “The Golden Girls,” in 1986. (He also directed a number of episodes.)
In 1987 he directed the critically hailed true-crime miniseries “Nutcracker: Money, Madness and Murder,” starring Lee Remick. It received nine Emmy nominations, including for Bogart’s directing.
His last two Emmy noms were for adaptation of “Broadway Bound” in 1992 and “The Heidi Chronicles,” in 1996.
Bogart was born in New York City and served in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1944-46.
He was recognized at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991 with the French Festival Internationelle Programmes Audiovisuelle.
Bogart also received won three Directors Guild of America awards, all for “All in the Family,” with a total of 10 nominations.
He was married once but divorced in the 1970s. Bogart is survived by a son, two daughters, a sister, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.