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Bernard L. Kowalski, 78, director

TV vet worked on 'Rawhide,' 'Gunsmoke'

Emmy-nommed TV producer and director Bernard L. Kowalski died Oct. 26 in Los Angeles. He was 78.

“My Uncle Bernie was a mentor to me,” said producer Brian Grazer.

Kowalski directed episodes of “The Untouchables,” “Rawhide,” “Gunsmoke,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Knight Rider” and “Magnum P.I.” He also served as producer and exec producer of shows including “Airwolf” and “Jake and the Fatman” and was twice nominated for an Emmy for producing “Baretta.”

Born in Brownsville, Texas, his first job in the entertainment industry was at the age of 5 as an extra in the Warner Bros. “Dead End Kids” pictures. He also appeared in the Errol Flynn vehicles “Dodge City” and “Virginia City.” His experience behind the camera began at age 17, when he worked as a clerk for his father, an assistant director and production manager.

He began directing TV series such as “Frontier” and “Boots and Saddle” and directed exploitation films such as “Hot Car Girl” and “Attack of the Giant Leeches” before returning to episodic television.

He is survived by his wife Helen, four children and 10 grandchildren.

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