You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Director John Rich dies at 85

TV helmer of 'All in the Family,' 'Jeffersons' won Emmy for 'Dick Van Dyke'

Director John Rich died Sunday from heart failure after a brief illness. He was 85.

He directed such sitcoms as “Where’s Raymond?,” “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” “Newhart,” “Barney Miller,” “Benson,” “The Brady Bunch” and “Mister Ed.” Feature credits included “Wives and Lovers,” “Boeing Boeing,” “Roustabout” and “Easy Come, Easy Go.”

Rich won an Emmy for “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and two Emmys, two Golden Globes and two DGA awards for “All in the Family.”

He was also an Honorary Life Member of the DGA and a recipient of the DGA’s Robert B. Aldrich Award in 1993.

“We are deeply saddened to learn today of the passing of John Rich,” said DGA president Taylor Hackford. “A legendary figure in the history of TV comedy, John tirelessly served our guild for nearly six decades. He directed some of the most beloved classics of all time and his skills as a television director were unsurpassed, but no matter how busy and successful his career was, John always made time for the DGA.”

Rich became a member of the Screen Directors Guild in 1953 and was instrumental in the 1960 merger between the Screen Directors Guild and the Radio and Television Directors Guild, which formed the Directors Guild of America. In 1955, Rich was appointed an alternate on the national board, the start of more than 50 years of service on the board and the Western Directors Council.

He served as secretary (1958-59), treasurer (1965-67) and several terms as a VP (1959-60, 1960-61, 1963-65, 1967-73, 1996-97).

He was also involved in multiple negotiations as a member of the negotiations committee and served as chairman of the Directors Guild Foundation since 2005. Rich was a founding member of the DGA-Producer Pension Plan and was chairman of its Board of Trustees for seven terms.

Rich is survived by his wife of 22 years, Patricia Dodds Rich; two sons and a daughter; three stepchildren; and eight grandchildren.

More TV

  • Tammy Filler Nathan Najarian NBC

    E! Expands News Coverage, Brings 'Today' Vet Tammy Filler Aboard (EXCLUSIVE)

    E! is expanding its entertainment-news programming, with plans to add three more hours of coverage to its linear schedule in 2020, Variety has learned. To help spearhead the effort, the cable channel is bringing aboard Tammy Filler, a veteran producer on NBC’s “Today,” to lead creative and production for E! News. The expansion of news [...]

  • Armando Iannucci

    Armando Iannucci Space Comedy 'Avenue 5' Ordered to Series at HBO

    HBO has given a series order to the comedy “Avenue 5” from creator Armando Iannucci. The series is described as a space tourism comedy set forty years in the future when the solar system is everyone’s oyster. Hugh Laurie stars as Ryan Clark, the captain of the space cruise ship Avenue 5. The series also [...]

  • NCIS Los Angeles and NCIS New

    'NCIS: Los Angeles' and 'NCIS: New Orleans' Renewed at CBS

    CBS has renewed “NCIS: Los Angeles” for an 11th season, and “NCIS: New Orleans” for a sixth season. Both action drama are spinoffs of “NCIS,” which was renewed in early April. “NCIS: Los Angeles” follows a Naval Criminal Investigative Service division based in the City of Angels that is tasked with catching dangerous and elusive [...]


    Brazil’s Ancine Freezes Incentives, Threatening Film-TV Industry Paralysis

    Brazil’s Ancine agency, its foremost public-sector source of film funding, has frozen all of its incentive programs, potentially near paralyzing new production in Latin America’s biggest film-TV industry. The dramatic decision, which has left Brazil’s industry is a state of shock and intense fear for its future, comes as it has taken further hits. In [...]

  • TV Shows to Watch the Week

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of April 22, 2019: 'Gentleman Jack' and the NFL Draft

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Gentleman Jack” debuts on HBO, and “Kobra Kai” season two drops on YouTube [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    Steve Golin, Prolific Producer and Founder of Anonymous Content, Dies at 64

    Steve Golin, an Oscar-winning producer who was founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, died Sunday in Los Angeles of cancer. He was 64. Golin was a pioneer in blending the business of talent management with production. Anonymous Content, which Golin founded in 1999, worked with a stable of big name artists such as Steven Soderbergh, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content