Bud Yorkin, the director-producer and former partner of Norman Lear, was a easygoing guy who went out of his way to make actors feel comfortable on his sets, according to Rob Reiner, who worked with Yorkin on “All in the Family.”
Reiner shared his memories of Yorkin, who died Tuesday at 89, with Variety in a telephone interview from New Orleans, where he’s prepping his latest film, the Woody Harrelson starrer “LBJ.”
“The main thing that was great about (Yorkin) was that he just made you feel comfortable. He was a very welcoming person, very down to earth. I’ve learned that the best thing a director can do is to make people feel good about what they’re doing. He always did that. He was encouraging and always intelligent about the way he did things. He created an atmosphere that allowed you to do your best work.
“Bud was warm and soft-spoken. Just a generous kind of guy who made you feel comfortable…. He loved sports. He was a really good athlete. He played football and he used to tell me, ‘You play both sides of the ball,’ offense and defense. He loved to ski. What I remember most about Bud is you could always go into his office — he was so welcoming. You felt like you could just hang with him because he was an easy guy to be around.
“The main thing I learned from Bud about directing is how to treat people. I’ve worked with a lot of different directors. Some of them yell and scream; everybody has a different way. I learned from Bud that if you can make people feel comfortable they’re going to give you their best. He always did that.”