Peter Baldwin, who started as an actor and went on to become a prolific TV director throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, died Nov. 19 in Pebble Beach, Calif. He was 86.
Baldwin won a Primetime Emmy Award for directing “The Wonder Years” and a Cable ACE Award for “Dream On.”
Born in Winnetka, Ill., he was discovered by a Hollywood talent scout in his senior year at Stanford. He became one of Paramount’s “Golden Circle of Newcomers” and appeared in films including “Stalag 17,” “Little Boy Lost” and Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments.”
He served three years in the Navy and returned to Paramount, where he appeared in “The Tin Star” and “Teacher’s Pet” with Clark Gable and Doris Day.
After touring with Julie Harris in “The Warm Peninsula” play, Baldwin moved to Italy, where he appeared in films by Robert Rossellini, Dino Risi and Francesco Rosi. There he started working on the other side of the camera, serving as assistant director on Vittorio De Sica’s “Woman Times Seven” and “A Place for Lovers.” In 1964, he won first prize at the Venice Film Festival for “Some Sort of Cage,” a docudrama about Synanon House, which he wrote, produced and directed.
He returned to the U.S. and was hired by “Dick Van Dyke Show” producer Sheldon Leonard. He went on to direct hundreds of episodes of popular shows including “The Andy Griffith Show,” “The Partridge Family,” “Mary Tyler Moore,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Sanford and Son,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Happy Days,” “Chico and the Man,” “The Love Boat,” “Family Ties,” “ALF,” “Full House”, “WKRP In Cincinnati,” “Murphy Brown,” “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” and “Even Stevens.”
He also directed comedy feature film “Meet Wally Sparks” starring Rodney Dangerfield and produced the HBO movie “As Summers Die” starring Bette Davis, Jamie Leigh Curtis, and Scott Glenn.
After retiring to Pebble Beach, he served on the board of the Pacific Repertory Theater in Carmel-By-The-Sea.
He is survived by his wife, Terry, son Drew Baldwin (creator of the Streamy Awards), daughters Amy Anderson and Eleonora Baldwin, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.