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Director and actor Jeremiah Morris died March 5 in Culver City, Calif. of complications from colon cancer. He was 76.

A New York native, he began working in the theater in the 1950s, appearing as an actor in a number of Broadway plays. As a director, he helmed hundreds of productions, on and off Broadway, on national tours and in regional theaters, directing thesps such as Al Pacino, Jose Ferrer and Mickey Rooney.

Morris also worked in television, directing episodes of “Barney Miller,” “Quincy,” “Too Close for Comfort” and “Different Strokes.”

In 1989 he was appointed artistic director of the Actors Alley theater company in Los Angeles, shepherding the repertory company through numerous productions. In the 1990s he spearheaded the drive to get the city of Los Angeles to convert the historic El Portal movie house into a theater complex, which helped pave the way for the establishment of today’s NoHo theater district in North Hollywood.

He is survived by his wife Kate; daughter Jennie, an exec with the Sundance Channel; and a grandson.

Donations may be made to The Actors Fund of America (att: David Michaels), 5757 Wilshire Blvd, #400, Los Angeles, CA 90036.