Christine Gazel Ballard, Director of ‘Charles in Charge,’ ‘Night Court,’ Dies at 68

Christine Ballard Director Dead
Courtesy of Stan Murton

TV director Christine Gazel Ballard died in Van Nuys, Calif. on January 2. She was 68.

Ballard worked as associate director for “The Golden Girls,” “The Redd Foxx Show” and “Benson,” gradually working her way up to directing episodes of “Night Court,” “Charles in Charge,” “It’s a Living” and “Alice.” She followed that up working in production on “The Tony Danza Show,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “According to Jim.” In May 1994 she received an Emmy for writing, producing and directing a Los Angeles TV special entitled “Women Pioneers.”

Ballard was born in Chicago and grew up in Park Ridge, Ill., graduating from Indiana University with a degree in radio and television in 1969; while at Indiana she was very active in WIUS, the campus radio station. After moving to Terre Haute, Ind., and working at station WTWO as staff director for several years, she headed for California in 1973, where she soon began a successful career in television directing.

Survivors include Ballard’s sister, Marcia Murton.

A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, January 17, at 2:30 p.m. at the Old North Church, located on the grounds of Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 6300 Forest Lawn Dr., Los Angeles, with a reception to follow; call 323-254-7251 for information.

Donations may be made to Childreach International, 155 Plan Way, Warwick, RI 02886