Child actor became second unit director, worked on 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'
Michael “Micky” Moore, a child actor who went on to become a top second-unit and assistant director and had one of the longest continuously active careers in Hollywood, died in Malibu on March 4 of congestive heart failure. He was 98.
His career, both in front of and behind the camera, spanned more than nine decades and over 200 films stretching from the silent days to 2000’s “102 Dalmations.”
Moore was best known professionally for his second unit work on such films as “Patton,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and the first three Indiana Jones films.
He was the lead director on Elvis Presley’s “Paradise, Hawaiian Style,” “The Fastest Guitar Alive” starring Ron Orbison and “Kill a Dragon” with Jack Palance. He helmed episodes of television series as “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,” “Hondo, Bonanza” and Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories.”
He was born Dennis Michael Sheffield in Victoria, British Columbia in 1914 and moved to the U.S. with his family the next year.
With a mop of curly hair, he became a child actor in silent films at the age of 18 months after his 4-year old brother auditioned at Santa Barbara’s Flying “A” Studio.
The family soon moved to Hollywood, where he worked with stars such as Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson and appeared in as many as 50 silent films, including Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” and “The King of Kings.”
DeMille who would later mentor Moore as he transitioned to directing in adulthood. When Moore’s acting career faded, the helmer got him a job in the prop department at Paramount.
At the age of 95, he added author to his resume with the 2009 publication of “My Magic Carpet of Films: A Personal Journey in the Motion Picture Industry 1916-2000.” George Lucas and Steven Spielberg provided the book’s foreword.
As Moore’s directing career came to a close, he still wasn’t done with the film business. He mentored many of Hollywood’s behind-the-camera up-and-comers with his longtime knowledge a of filmmaking.
Moore is survived by his daughters, Tricia and Sandra, five grandsons and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Esther, who died in 1992, and second wife, Laurice, who died in 2011.