Charles Dubin

Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Charles S. Dubin (1919 - 2011) describes his lengthy career as a television director, which began in 1950 when he was hired at ABC as an associate director and culminated in his long association with M*A*S*H, for which he directed more episodes than any other individual director. Dubin details his early work in "live" television for such series as Pulitizer Prize Playhouse and Opera vs. Jazz. He speaks in great detail about the over twenty segments of Omnibus that he directed, including celebrated pieces with choreographer Agnes de Mille and conductor/ composer Leonard Bernstein. It was his association with Bernstein in this capacity which led to his directing of the first three of the "Young People's Concerts," which Dubin then talks about. Additionally, Dubin discusses his work as a director on the quiz show series Twenty-One, which became the center of the Quiz Show Scandal, although Dubin was at the time unaware of the backstage practices that led to the show's demise. He discusses his appearance before the House of Un-American Activities Committee, at which he plead the Fifth and was blacklisted from the industry for five years. He describes his later work, directing multiple episodes of The Defenders, Kojak, Ironside, Hawaii Five-O, and the Father Dowling Mysteries. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on September 9, 2003 in Brentwood, CA.

"As a director, I try to do what the writers had in mind. What did the writers want the audience to know and how do I do that with the picture, the sound effects, the props, the costumes. I think that anything that's seen on that screen should be from the director and writer's point of view. That's, I think, the best way I can put it."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Charles S. Dubin on being called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and being blacklisted for five years
Charles S. Dubin on Omnibus executive producer Robert Saudek
Charles S. Dubin on directing Twenty One, produced by Dan Enright just before the Quiz Show Scandals broke, and on being called to testify about it
Charles S. Dubin on directing Cinderella, starring Leslie Ann Warren
Charles S. Dubin on the popularity of M*A*S*H, and on the end of the series and its legacy
Charles S. Dubin on going to work for ABC in 1950 as an assistant director
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on getting into acting, and learning to act and direct from Sanford Meisner; on the first time he saw television
On going to work for ABC in 1950 as an assistant director; on becoming a full-fledged director at ABC, and directing Pulitzer Prize Playhouse with actors like Sidney Poitier; on directing live television in the 1950s and on directing Opera vs. Jazz

Chapter 2

On Omnibus executive producer Robert Saudek; on directing the Omnibus episodes "Jack Be Normal" and "The Azuma Kabuki Dancers"; on directing the Omnibus episodes "The Better Half" and "Plays of the Irish Renaissance"
On the technical aspects of Omnibus; on directing several classic episodes of Omnibus
On Omnibus host Alistair Cooke, and choreographer Agnes De Mille; on working with Leonard Bernstein on several Omnibus episodes

Chapter 3

On the legacy of Omnibus; on directing the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert and on directing Producers' Showcase; on directing Twenty One, produced by Dan Enright just before the Quiz Show Scandals broke, and on being called to testify
On being called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and being blacklisted for five years; on directing The Defenders, produced by Herbert Brodkin; on working with E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed on The Defenders, and on directing specific episodes of the series

Chapter 4

On directing episodes of The Defenders; on directing "Judy and Her Guests, Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet," the 1963 special that served as the pilot for The Judy Garland Show; on directing various series, made-for television movies, and specials
On directing Medical Center, and on directing Ironside, starring Raymond Burr; on directing Hawaii Five-O, starring Jack Lord; on directing Kojak, starring Telly Savalas

Chapter 5

On directing The New People, Room 222, Of Men and Women, Sanford and Son, and The 10th Level; on how he came to direct M*A*S*H; on a typical workweek directing an episode of M*A*S*H, and on the research involved in making the series
On directing Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H; on directing Harry Morgan as "Sherman T. Potter" on M*A*S*H; on directing Gary Burghoff as "Radar O'Reilly" on M*A*S*H
On directing Loretta Swit as "Margaret Houlihan" on M*A*S*H; on directing William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy," Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger," Larry Linville as "Frank Burns," Mike Farrell as "B.J. Hunnicutt," and David Ogden Stiers as "Charles Winchester" on M*A*S*H; on the episode "Point of View"

Chapter 6

On directing the M*A*S*H episode "Point of View"; on working with Burt Metcalfe and Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H, and on where the show was shot; on problems Standards and Practices had with M*A*S*H and on the use of the laugh track on the show, and on the end of the series
On his style of directing and how he works with actors; on directing Lou Grant with Ed Asner and Nancy Marchand; on directing The Belle of Amherst, starring Julie Harris
On directing various series including Charlie's Angles, Trapper John, MD, and Supertrain; on directing Roots: The Next Generations, and on working with Henry Fonda on that show

Chapter 7

On directing the cast of Roots: The Next Generations, and on dealing with the subject matter; on directing Telly Savalas for the American Playhouse production of "My Palikari"; on directing Jennifer Slept Here, Amanda's, The Four Seasons, Murder, She Wrote, and Hotel
On directing The Masterpiece of Murder, starring Bob Hope; on directing Matlock, Starman, Square One, and Father Dowling Mysteries; on summing up his career including proudest achievement, advice, collaborating with writers, mentors, and how he'd like to be remembered
On b-roll pictures from his career- newspaper clipping about the Roxy Theater in New York City; on the set of Hawaii Five-O with Jack Lord; drawing by Jack Lord; with Alan Alda on the set of M*A*S*H; with Mike Farrell and Alan Alda on the set of M*A*S*H; on the set of M*A*S*H with the actors and President Ford; Agnes de Mille with the cast of M*A*S*H; the cast and the producers of M*A*S*H throwing a party for Charles S. Dubin; Waiting for Godot; The Gathering Part II; with his wife Mary Lou; headshot of Charles S. Dubin
Shows

Amanda's

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Charles S. Dubin on directing Jennifer Slept Here, Amanda's, The Four Seasons, Murder, She Wrote, and Hotel

American Playhouse

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Charles S. Dubin on directing Telly Savalas for the American Playhouse production of "My Palikari"

Big Valley, The

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Charles S. Dubin on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Virginian, The Meanest Man in the West, Tarzan, and The Big Valley

Charlie's Angels

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Charles S. Dubin on directing various series including Charlie's Angles, Trapper John, MD, and Supertrain

Cinderella (1957)

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Charles S. Dubin on directing Cinderella, starring Leslie Ann Warren

Defenders, The

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Defenders, produced by Herbert Brodkin
Charles S. Dubin on working with E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed on The Defenders, and on directing specific episodes of the series
Charles S. Dubin on directing episodes of The Defenders

Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Virginian, The Meanest Man in the West, Tarzan, and The Big Valley

Father Dowling Mysteries

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Matlock, Starman, Square One, and Father Dowling Mysteries

Hawaii Five-O

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Hawaii Five-O, starring Jack Lord

Hotel

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Jennifer Slept Here, Amanda's, The Four Seasons, Murder, She Wrote, and Hotel

Ironside

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Medical Center, Ironside, starring Raymond Burr

Jennifer Slept Here

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Jennifer Slept Here, Amanda's, The Four Seasons, Murder, She Wrote, and Hotel

Judy Garland Show, The

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing "Judy and Her Guests, Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet," the 1963 special that served as the pilot for The Judy Garland Show

Kojak

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Kojak, starring Telly Savalas

Lou Grant

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Lou Grant with Ed Asner and Nancy Marchand

M*A*S*H

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on how he came to direct M*A*S*H
Charles S. Dubin on a typical workweek directing an episode of M*A*S*H, and on the research involved in making the series
Charles S. Dubin on directing Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
Charles S. Dubin on directing Harry Morgan as "Sherman T. Potter" on M*A*S*H
Charles S. Dubin on directing Gary Burghoff as "Radar O'Reilly" on M*A*S*H
Charles S. Dubin on directing Loretta Swit as "Margaret Houlihan" on M*A*S*H
Charles S. Dubin on directing William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy," Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger," Larry Linville as "Frank Burns," Mike Farrell as "B.J. Hunnicutt," and David Ogden Stiers as "Charles Winchester" on M*A*S*H
Charles S. Dubin on directing the M*A*S*H episode "Point of View"
Charles S. Dubin on directing the M*A*S*H episode "Point of View"
Charles S. Dubin on working with Burt Metcalfe and Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H
Charles S. Dubin on where M*A*S*H was shot
Charles S. Dubin on problems Standards and Practices had with M*A*S*H and on the use of the laugh track on the show
Charles S. Dubin on the popularity of M*A*S*H, and on the end of the series and its legacy

Masterpiece of Murder, A

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Masterpiece of Murder starring Bob Hope

Matlock

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Matlock, Starman, Square One, and Father Dowling Mysteries

Medical Center

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Medical Center, and on directing Ironside, starring Raymond Burr

Murder, She Wrote

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Jennifer Slept Here, Amanda's, The Four Seasons, Murder, She Wrote, and Hotel

New People, The

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The New People, Room 222, Of Men and Women, Sanford and Son, and The 10th Level

New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing the New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert

Nurses, The

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Nurses

Omnibus

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on Omnibus executive producer Robert Saudek
Charles S. Dubin on directing the Omnibus episodes "Jack Be Normal" and "The Azuma Kabuki Dancers"
Charles S. Dubin on directing the Omnibus episodes "The Better Half" and "Plays of the Irish Renaissance"
Charles S. Dubin on the technical aspects of Omnibus
Charles S. Dubin on directing several Omnibus episodes, including "Comedy and Song," "The Spirit of Freedom," "The Bigger Wheel," "The Ballad of Baby Doe," "Baptiste," "Children of Paradise," "And Joy is My Company," and "My Hearts in the Highlands"
Charles S. Dubin on Omnibus host Alistair Cooke, and choreographer Agnes De Mille
Charles S. Dubin on working with Leonard Bernstein on several Omnibus episodes
Charles S. Dubin on the legacy of Omnibus

Producers' Showcase

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Producers' Showcase

Pulitzer Prize Playhouse

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on becoming a full-fledged director at ABC, and directing Pulitzer Prize Playhouse with actors like Sidney Poitier

Room 222

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The New People, Room 222, Of Men and Women, Sanford and Son, and The 10th Level

Roots: The Next Generations

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Roots: The Next Generations, and on working with Henry Fonda on that show
Charles S. Dubin on directing the cast of Roots: The Next Generations, and on dealing with the subject matter

Sanford and Son

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The New People, Room 222, Of Men and Women, Sanford and Son, and The 10th Level

Square One TV

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Matlock, Starman, Square One, and Father Dowling Mysteries

Starman

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Matlock, Starman, Square One, and Father Dowling Mysteries

Supertrain

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing various series including Charlie's Angles, Trapper John, MD, and Supertrain

Tarzan

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Virginian, The Meanest Man in the West, Tarzan, and The Big Valley

Trapper John, M. D.

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing various series including Charlie's Angles, Trapper John, MD, and Supertrain

Twenty One

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Twenty One, produced by Dan Enright just before the Quiz Show Scandals broke, and on being called to testify about it

Virginian, The

View Show Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Virginian, The Meanest Man in the West, Tarzan, and The Big Valley
Topics

Advice

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Charles S. Dubin on summing up his career including proudest achievement, advice, collaborating with writers, mentors, and how he'd like to be remembered

Hollywood Blacklist

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Charles S. Dubin on being called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and being blacklisted for five years

Industry Crossroads

View Topic
Charles S. Dubin on being called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and being blacklisted for five years
Charles S. Dubin on directing Twenty One produced by Dan Enright just before the Quiz Show Scandals broke, and on being called to testify about it

Quiz Show Scandals

View Topic
Charles S. Dubin on directing Twenty One produced by Dan Enright just before the Quiz Show Scandals broke, and on being called to testify about it

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

View Topic
Charles S. Dubin on directing live television in the 1950s

Television Industry

View Topic
Charles S. Dubin on being called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee and being blacklisted for five years
Charles S. Dubin on directing Twenty One produced by Dan Enright just before the Quiz Show Scandals broke, and on being called to testify about it
Charles S. Dubin on summing up his career including proudest achievement, advice, collaborating with writers, mentors, and how he'd like to be remembered
Professions

Directors

View Profession
Charles S. Dubin on his style of directing and how he works with actors
Charles S. Dubin on knowing where to place the camera as a director
Charles S. Dubin on what makes a good script to direct, and on chemistry and actors
Charles S. Dubin on summing up his career including proudest achievement, advice, collaborating with writers, mentors, and how he'd like to be remembered
Genres

Classic Anthology Series

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing Omnibus
Charles S. Dubin on directing Telly Savalas for the American Playhouse production of "My Palikari"

Comedy Series

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing The New People, Room 222, Of Men and Women, Sanford and Son, and The 10th Level
Charles S. Dubin on directing M*A*S*H
Charles S. Dubin on directing M*A*S*H
Charles S. Dubin on directing Jennifer Slept Here, Amanda's, The Four Seasons, Murder, She Wrote, and Hotel

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing Medical Center, and on directing Ironside, starring Raymond Burr
Charles S. Dubin on directing Hawaii Five-O, starring Jack Lord
Charles S. Dubin on directing Kojak, starring Telly Savalas

Drama Series

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing The New People, Room 222, Of Men and Women, Sanford and Son, and The 10th Level
Charles S. Dubin on directing Lou Grant with Ed Asner and Nancy Marchand
Charles S. Dubin on directing various series including Charlie's Angles, Trapper John, MD, and Supertrain
Charles S. Dubin on directing Jennifer Slept Here, Amanda's, The Four Seasons, Murder, She Wrote, and Hotel
Charles S. Dubin on directing Matlock, Starman, Square One, and Father Dowling Mysteries

Game Shows

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing Twenty One, produced by Dan Enright just before the Quiz Show Scandals broke, and on being called to testify about it

Legal Dramas

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing episodes of The Defenders
Charles S. Dubin on directing Matlock, Starman, Square One, and Father Dowling Mysteries

Medical Dramas

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Nurses
Charles S. Dubin on directing Medical Center, and on directing Ironside, starring Raymond Burr

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing "Judy and Her Guests, Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet," the 1963 special that served as the pilot for The Judy Garland Show
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Virginian, The Meanest Man in the West, Tarzan, and The Big Valley

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Virginian, The Meanest Man in the West, Tarzan, and The Big Valley
Charles S. Dubin on directing Cinderella, starring Leslie Ann Warren
Charles S. Dubin on directing Roots: The Next Generations, and on working with Henry Fonda on that show
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Masterpiece of Murder starring Bob Hope

Western Series

View Genre
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Virginian, The Meanest Man in the West, Tarzan, and The Big Valley
People

Alan Alda

View Interview Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H

Edward Asner

View Interview Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Lou Grant with Ed Asner and Nancy Marchand

Leonard Bernstein

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on working with Leonard Bernstein on several Omnibus episodes

Herbert Brodkin

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Defenders, produced by Herbert Brodkin

Gary Burghoff

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Gary Burghoff as "Radar O'Reilly" on M*A*S*H

William Christopher

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy," Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger," Larry Linville as "Frank Burns," Mike Farrell as "B.J. Hunnicutt," and David Ogden Stiers as "Charles Winchester" on M*A*S*H

Alistair Cooke

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on Omnibus host Alistair Cooke, and choreographer Agnes De Mille

Dan Enright

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Twenty One, produced by Dan Enright just before the Quiz Show Scandals broke, and on being called to testify about it

Jamie Farr

View Interview Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy," Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger," Larry Linville as "Frank Burns," Mike Farrell as "B.J. Hunnicutt," and David Ogden Stiers as "Charles Winchester" on M*A*S*H

Mike Farrell

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy," Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger," Larry Linville as "Frank Burns," Mike Farrell as "B.J. Hunnicutt," and David Ogden Stiers as "Charles Winchester" on M*A*S*H

Henry Fonda

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Roots: The Next Generations, and on working with Henry Fonda on that show

Judy Garland

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing "Judy and Her Guests, Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet," the 1963 special that served as the pilot for The Judy Garland Show

Julie Harris

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing The Belle of Amherst, starring Julie Harris

Larry Linville

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy," Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger," Larry Linville as "Frank Burns," Mike Farrell as "B.J. Hunnicutt," and David Ogden Stiers as "Charles Winchester" on M*A*S*H

Nancy Marchand

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Lou Grant with Ed Asner and Nancy Marchand

E. G. Marshall

View Interview Page
Charles S. Dubin on working with E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed on The Defenders, and on directing specific episodes of the series

Sanford Meisner

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Charles S. Dubin on getting into acting, and learning to act and direct from Sanford Meisner, and on appearing as an actor in several Broadway productions

Burt Metcalfe

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Charles S. Dubin on working with Burt Metcalfe and Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H

Agnes De Mille

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Charles S. Dubin on Omnibus host Alistair Cooke, and choreographer Agnes De Mille

Harry Morgan

View Interview Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Harry Morgan as "Sherman T. Potter" on M*A*S*H

Robert Reed

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on working with E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed on The Defenders, and on directing specific episodes of the series

Gene Reynolds

View Interview Page
Charles S. Dubin on working with Burt Metcalfe and Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H

Robert Saudek

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on Omnibus executive producer Robert Saudek

Telly Savalas

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Telly Savalas for the American Playhouse production of "My Palikari"

David Ogden Stiers

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy," Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger," Larry Linville as "Frank Burns," Mike Farrell as "B.J. Hunnicutt," and David Ogden Stiers as "Charles Winchester" on M*A*S*H

Loretta Swit

View Interview Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Loretta Swit as "Margaret Houlihan" on M*A*S*H

Linda Bloodworth Thomason

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Dribble, an unsold pilot written by Linda Bloodworth Thomason

Lesley Ann Warren

View Person Page
Charles S. Dubin on directing Cinderella, starring Lesley Ann Warren

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