Producer, director and editor Sam White, brother of the White Brothers film and TV pioneers, died Aug. 5 in Encino. He was 99.
Born in Los Angeles, he married studio contract dancer Claretta Ellis in 1937.
During the 1930s, he directed musical sequences in films such as “Roberta” with Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Irene Dunne, “Old Man Rhythm” with Betty Grable and Buddy Rogers, “Top Of The Town” and “Hooray For Love” with Anne Southern.
During WWII he made training films for the U.S. Armed Forces.
In the 1940s, he produced and/or directed films including “Reveille With Beverly,” starring Ann Miller, which was Frank Sinatra’s first film, “People are Funny,” “Return of the Vampire,” with Bela Lugosi, “The Girl in the Case,” “After Midnight with Boston Blackie,” “Louisiana Hayride” and “Tahiti Nights” with Jinx Falkenberg.
During the next two decades he directed commercials and produced and directed early television series including “Perry Mason,” “Outer Limits,” “My Friend Flicka,” and “Philip Marlowe.”
In 1969 he produced and directed “White Comanche” with William Shatner and Joseph Cotton. He also owned a production facility in Pioneer Town.
After a 2003 retrospective at the Motion Picture and Television Home, a wall of honor was dedicated to White and his brothers Jack and Jules, who worked wrote, directed and produced The Three Stooges films. In 1990, the Director’s Guild of America published an oral history entitled “The White Brothers” which tells the history of the family as well as the history of early moviemaking in Los Angeles.
He is survived by a daughter, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.