Did these classic TV stars ever direct episodes of their own shows?

The answers may surprise you!


Television directors often get overlooked. While movie directors get all the glory for their work, television is thought of more in terms of writers and producers. To some extent that makes sense. After all, TV directors have to work within certain restrictions to keep continuity from episode to episode. But that doesn’t mean they can't leave their mark.

One interesting aspect about TV directing is that the actors often get a chance at the helm, especially if the show has been on for many years.

Here are 15 classic TV stars you’ve seen in front of the camera. How many of them called the shots (literally) behind it as well?

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  1. Did Alfred Hitchcock direct episodes of his namesake shows?
  2. Did Andy Griffith direct any episodes of his eponymous sitcom?
  3. Did Jack Webb direct any episodes of the 1960s Dragnet?
  4. Did Leonard Nimoy direct any episodes of Star Trek?
  5. Did Clint Eastwood direct any episodes of Rawhide?
  6. Did Alan Alda direct any episodes of M*A*S*H?
  7. Did Robert Reed ever direct any episodes of The Brady Bunch?
  8. Did Raymond Burr ever direct any episodes of Perry Mason?
  9. Did Ralph Waite ever direct any episodes of The Waltons?
  10. Did Dick Van Dyke ever direct any episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show?
  11. Did Peter Falk direct any episodes of Columbo?
  12. Did Martin Milner direct any episodes of Adam-12?
  13. Did William Conrad direct any episodes of Cannon?
  14. Did Michael Landon direct any episodes of Bonanza?
  15. Did Rod Serling direct any episodes of The Twilight Zone?

Did these classic TV stars ever direct episodes of their own shows?

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Brave10 9 months ago
8/15 Don’t really care who directs them. The Fugitive was a very underrated show. Don’t understand why it’s relegated to one show a week, at 2 in the morning. Would love more quizzes on the show.
Lillyrose 41 months ago
12 out of 15.
marcddailey Lillyrose 10 months ago
Me too. I thought Serling directed some TZ episodes.
MarkSpeck 44 months ago
Leonard Nimoy may not have directed for Star Trek: TOS, but Shatner was slated to direct an episode, which never came to fruition because the series got canceled.
MarkSpeck 44 months ago
Got 'em all. One beef, though...Peter Falk did not direct two episodes of Columbo, just one. Maybe you were thinking of the episode he WROTE, which was the very last Columbo he did, "Columbo Likes the Nightlife"?
Randall 44 months ago
The Robert Reed one Floored me. The way Reed and Sherwood Schwartz got along, I am sure there were some days that Sherwood would not want him in the building!
MarkSpeck Randall 44 months ago
I'm thinking they gave him episodes to direct just to shut him up. Reed was notorious for complaining about the quality of scripts, even going so far as to change the dialogue. Sherwood Schwartz asked him nicely not to do that, telling him if there's something wrong with a script, to see him and work it out, but Reed was very headstrong.
EllisClevenger 44 months ago
You got 12 out of 15
Could you handle this quiz?
Missed #2, #4, and #11.
ELEANOR 44 months ago
Ron Howard always wanted to be a director and wished to direct some episodes of Happy Days. They could not see him as a director, so they denied him the opportunity. It was then he decided to leave the show. On Andy Griffith, there is one telling episode, one of the ones where they went to Hollywood and they are watching an episode being filmed and Ronny Howard as Opie gets up on a studio camera to look through the viewer. And it looks like he's done it a hundred times, which he probably had!
marcddailey ELEANOR 10 months ago
According to a BIOGRAPHY episode on Ron Howard (which coincidentally I just happened to see today), he didn’t want to direct any HD episodes, since they had a great director (Jerry Paris, who also directed the Dick Van Dyke show). What he wanted was for Paramount to offer him a deal to direct movies in the future. They declined so he didn’t renew his contract and decided at age 24 it was time to move on and direct projects. Roger Corman gave him his first big break, letting him direct GRAND THEFT AUTO. It was the sequel to BITE MY DUST, both of which starred Ron Howard. Of course, his first major movie was when he starred with relatively unknown actors in George Lucas’ AMERICAN GRAFFITI in 1974. The unknown actors included Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford! Happy Days is believed to be inspired by that movie.
Brave10 ELEANOR 9 months ago
That outfit Bee bought Andy and Opie to wear
Kenner 44 months ago
Hugh Beaumont also directed several episodes of LITB. Surprised he wasn’t included in that list.
Barry22 44 months ago
12/15. George Reeves directed some episodes of Superman.
frances3agape Barry22 43 months ago
COOL trivia tidbit
frenchman71 44 months ago
I was 12/15. I would have thought since Eastwood directed a lot of his movies he would cut his teeth on his only TV show. And as I think back I think I saw Robert Reed's name as director on a couple "BB" episodes.
CaptainDunsel 44 months ago
Can someone direct me to the exit?
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Allison, gotta give you points for being honest and brave enough to admit that
Well thank you 😉....... I don't see any sense in lying about it 😂🤣
Ah-Ha ! Thanks for the reminder. Had forgotten who exited stage left
Moverfan AllisonWunderland 25 months ago
Good morning, Snagglepuss! (I'm in southeast Michigan and it's almost 2:30am...night-night.)
texasluva 44 months ago
Rhonda Fleming, 97 just passed away last week. That leaves just 19 actors left from Hitchcock films. Who are the two youngest and two oldest actors left from these films?
cperrynaples texasluva 44 months ago
Well the oldest is definitely Norman Lloyd at 106! He not only acted for Hitchcock, he produced and directed many AHPs!
texasluva cperrynaples 44 months ago
Veronica Cartwright (now 71)
Jerry Mathers (72)
Nehemiah Persoff (101)
and of course Norman Loyd
frances3agape cperrynaples 43 months ago
I always try to watch Lloyd any time he is on tv - movies and shows.
What a fascinating gent
He was a FABULOUS guest on Johnny Carson and I highly recommend watching if available.
(Hmmmmmm.... I need to check YouTube about it myself!)
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