Director John Rich will be the recipient of the Directors Guild of America's Honorary Life Member Award, DGA President Martha Coolidge and Awards Committee Chairperson Howard Storm announced today. The Award is given in recognition of outstanding creative achievement, contribution to the DGA or the profession of directing.
"John Rich's unique vision and formidable directing talents become evident the minute you glance at his list of credits, which contain some of the most beloved TV classics of all time," Coolidge said. "He is a gifted director and has been an active member of our Guild for nearly 5 decades. John is truly deserving of this honor."
Rich's prolific directing career began in the early 1950s on comedies such as "I Married Joan" and "Our Miss Brooks." He went on to helm numerous television series including "Gunsmoke," "The Twilight Zone," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Gilligan's Island" (pilot and series), "Hogan's Heroes," "The Jeffersons" (pilot and series), "Barney Miller" (pilot and series), "Newhart" (pilot and series) and "Murphy Brown" -- to name only a few. He also directed the feature films "Wives and Lovers," "The New Interns," "Roustabout," "Boeing-Boeing," and "Easy Come, Easy Go," as well as the first live telecast of the Academy Awards in 1955.
Rich received the DGA Robert B. Aldrich Award for extraordinary service to the Guild and its membership in 1993; the DGA Special Class Television Award for Most Outstanding TV Director in 1971; the DGA Directors Award for Comedy Series for "All in the Family" episode of "All in the Family," 1971; and was nominated for the DGA Directors Award for Comedy Series for "The Bunkers & the Swingers" episode of "All in the Family," 1972.
Other awards include: Emmys for his direction of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in 1963, and "All in the Family" in both 1972 and 1973; Golden Globe Awards for "All in the Family" in 1972 and 1973; the NAACP Image Award in 1973; and the Christopher Award in 1974 for his direction of Henry Fonda's stage performance in the one-man play, "Clarence Darrow."
"John joined the Guild in 1953, and despite a busy and successful career he became an active member almost from the get-go," said Howard Storm. "One of the reasons we are among the most preeminent guilds in the entertainment industry is because of members like John who dedicate themselves not only to their work but also to the DGA."
On the Elvis 2001 website you can read an interview with John Rich on working with Elvis Presley. (Picture Elvis2001.net).