I was born on July 29th, in Toledo, Ohio and received all of my formal schooling there including the University of Toledo.
I guess my background for "The Business" started there. As a youth, besides being interested in baseball, basketball, and football, I was an incredible movie fan. This later proved to be my first stepping stone into 'showbiz'.
After working during summers in construction, roofing, a plastic factory and on a dredge, I dropped out of college in my freshman year and signed with the Washington Senator's baseball team. I was assigned to Orlando, Florida and completed one season, but I really didn't think I would make the big leagues, so I returned to school. When I finished school, I served in the army and was discharged in 1955.
Our family had always dreamed of coming to Hollywood and finally did so in 1958. My brother, Andy, was just developing a series called The Rebel for Nick Adams. Nick and I became good friends and I helped get him in shape for the series at the YMCA. He insisted on my being part of the show and since my alternative was to get my real estate license, I grabbed it. So I became the oldest gopher in town for fifty bucks a week. My beautiful wife, Katherine, did nothing but encourage me to pursue what I loved.
As a gopher, between delivering lunches and scripts and so on, I had a chance to observe every phase of the business. I began making phantom cast suggestions for the shows. After the first season, the regular directors suggested that I cast the next year. My pragmatic brother figured that since they were paying Stalmater-Lister $150 per show and he could get me for $100 per show, it was a good deal. As a result of that, the following year, Paramount sponsored me for their one choice a year to get into the Director's Guild. "Hallelujah!" I got in. The Rebel was cancelled, but Richard Caffey, whom I had worked with on The Rebel, got on Combat. I went on that and in a short five years, went from 2nd Assistant Director to First, to Associate Producer and to Directing in the fourth year of the show.
The rest, as they say, is history. It lead to several episodes of Mission
Impossible, Survivors, 31 episodes of Emergency!, 28 episodes of Quincy,
12 of Knightrider, 6 of Jack and the Fatman, 22 of Dragnet, and
Adam 12 and so on. I have just finished a Beverly Hills 90210, my
12th Baywatch, and am doing one next month.
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