Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2001

Emmy-winning director dies

August 11, 2001


— Emmy-winning director Alan Rafkin, whose credits include four decades of television's most popular comedies, including "The Andy Griffith Show" and "M-A-S-H," has died of heart disease. He was 73.

Rafkin died Monday at UCLA Medical Center.

During his prolific career, Rafkin directed episodes for more than 80 prime-time television series, including "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Laverne & Shirley," and "Murphy Brown."

He won an Emmy in 1982 for an episode of "One Day at a Time" and two cable ACE awards, in 1988 and 1990, for "It's Gary Shandling's Show."

Rafkin attributed his success and longevity to his personality and the fact that, "I wanted to work."

That personality, he said in his 1998 memoir, "Cue the Bunny on the Rainbow: Tales from TV's Most Prolific Sitcom Director," was of a curmudgeon. The book's title was taken from one of Rafkin's first television jobs, cuing the puppeteer who handled a bunny on the old "Captain Kangaroo" show.

The book gave Rafkin an opportunity to sound off on the many TV stars he worked with over the years.

He said Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams of "Laverne & Shirley," were "undisciplined and bratty," while Brooke Shields of "Suddenly Susan" was "the most gracious, funny, respectful young lady."

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