Jack Shea Dead: Ex-DGA Prexy and ‘Jeffersons’ Director Was 84

Helmer was Emmy-nommed for 'Designing Women'

TV director Jack Shea, who served three terms as Directors Guild of America president, died Sunday in Tarzana from complication from Alzheimer’s. He was 84.

Shea, the recipient of the DGA’s 1992 Robert Aldrich Award, worked for 40 years in television directing and producing, mostly in sitcoms including 110 episodes of “The Jeffersons” and 91 episodes of “Silver Spoons.” He also worked on “The Ropers,” “Sanford & Son,” “Designing Women” (earning an Emmy nomination), “The Charmings,” “Growing Pains” and “The Waltons.”

Shea directed multiple Bob Hope holiday and comedy specials from 1956-66, including many taped overseas.  He also was co-founder with his wife Patt Shea of Hollywood-based Catholics in Media Associates.

Shea served as DGA president from 1997-2002.

“Jack was a tremendous president – a unifying force and a dedicated leader,” said Jay D. Roth, national exec director of the DGA. “He truly loved the DGA and spent nearly 50 years in its service, working all the while to bring other members – women, minorities and members of the directorial team – into Guild service. Jack, who was originally from New York, worked tirelessly to strengthen the bonds between the Guild’s East Coast and West Coast members.”

Shea was a native of  New York City and began as a stage manager at NBC in New York in 1950, working on “Philco Playhouse,” among other programs. He served two years in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, stationed in Los Angeles as a TV and motion picture director producing educational films.

Shea is survived by his wife, four children and six grandchildren.

Donations may be made in the name of Jack Shea to Regis High School, 55 E. 84th Street, New York, N.Y. 10028.

A service for family, friends and professional acquaintances will be held at 10 a.m. on May 9 at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church,11360 Valleyheart Drive, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

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