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Don Weis

Don Weis, a prolific director of both TV and features, died July 25 of natural causes in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 78.

Weis directed more than 40 episodes of the television series “MASH” and over 20 films between 1951 and 1978.

He kicked off his directing career with “Just This Once” for MGM. His filmography consisted mostly of stylish handling of light fair including “Banner Line” in 1951, “I Love Melvin,” “Remains to Be Seen” and “A Slight Case of Larceny.”

Additional bigscreen credits include “The Affairs of Dobie Gillis” and “Half a Hero,” both in 1953.

Weis found his greatest success in TV, quickly becoming one of the most prolific directors on the small screen in the mid-1950s.

His list of credits includes golden era shows as “The Twilight Zone,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Perry Mason” and “Burke’s Law.” Weis continued to find success in the 1970s with “Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island” and in the ’80s with “Remington Steele.”

His time on “MASH,” however, turned out to be his most fruitful.

Weis was born in Milwaukee and moved with his family to California at a young age. After graduating from USC in 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Corps. He served as a film technician with the 1st Motion Picture Unit at Culver City, a cadre of filmmakers organized by Jack Warner.

In post-war Hollywood, Weis soon found employment as a script supervisor and dialogue director before being promoted to director.

Weis also served as the head of the Motion Picture Permanent Charities and for the last 10 years served as a member of the New Mexico Film Council.

Weis, a six-time recipient of the Directors Guild Director of the Year Award in TV, is survived by his wife of 42 years, Rebecca Welles, two daughters, a sister and two grandchildren.

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