Born:  August 24, 1942  
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Contact Info:  Dennis Donnelly, c/o Director's Guild of America, 8436 W 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048-4163
Current Projects: 
Other Webpages: Internet Movie Database

Rozane's September 23rd phone interview with Dennis Donnelly

Dennis and Tim Donnelly come from a family with a long history involvement in the entertainment business. Their great-grandfather, John Wilkes (not to be confused with John Wilkes Boothe) was a stage actor in San Francisco and New York. Their grandfather was Pat O'Malley, who you can see in The Virginian (1923 silent movie) and The Fighting Marines (1936), and their Aunt Kathleen O'Malley was in Wagon Train.  Their father, Paul was unit manager for Emergency!. He was also assistant director for The Wild Ones (1953 with Marlon Brando) and executive producer for Beyond The Bermuda Triangle (1975) just to name a few. I'm sorry to say that Paul passed away six years ago. He is the one who got Dennis involved in the business as an assistant and seven years after that, Dennis directed his first show. You can see Dennis as a child actor in Night Unto Night (1948) and Crime In The Streets (1956) and both Dennis and Tim in Baby Face Nelson (1957). Baby Face Nelson was directed by Don Siegel who was Tim's Godfather. Their older brother, Kevin, is involved with the movie business and one of their two younger sisters was an actress for awhile too.  

Dennis was the person who made me the most nervous to call. I was expecting this big gruff voice and got this soft-spoken EXTREMELY nice person! Boy, was I relieved!

Dennis was born August 24, 1942 in Los Angeles, California and later attended Notre- Dame High School and U.C. North college. His first directing job was a Adam-12.   He went on to direct more of those than any other director.  He also directed 18 episodes of Emergency! (to see which ones, check the episode guide).  His favorite  was "Frequency".  He said working with the bikers was a lot of fun. He also said it was a great place to work and he loved working with his brother. There was a lot of fun on the set and he told me Tim was one of the biggest pranksters. Dennis went on to direct such things as Simon & Simon, Airwolf, Man From Atlantis, Vega$ and A-Team shows, among others. He was also the director for The Toolbox Murders (1978) which Tim also starred in. His older brother, Kevin, and he worked together on Terminal Velocity (1994). Kevin as line producer, aerial photographer, and 2nd unit director, and Dennis as first assistant director, aerial unit.

 He and his family spent 2 years in Mexico City where Dennis directed two 80 hour novellas, The Shadow and The Guilt. His ten-year-old daughter was an actress in one. He also has six-year-old twin boys. The family returned in March of this year and is now living in the Los Angeles area. Dennis and Tim are currently working on a movie to be called Dog Days and Dennis wants everyone to know "We'll be back!!"

copyright 1997 by Rozane 

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