Gene Reynolds

Director / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his five-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Gene Reynolds speaks of his early work as a child star in many films. He discusses how he became an actor on live television and recounts making the transition to casting director on programs like Peter Gunn and Matinee Theatre. He then talks about directing for television, on series including My Three Sons and Hogan's Heroes. Reynolds discusses how he became a producer, describes producing The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and producing and directing Room 222 and M*A*S*H. He then talks about producing Lou Grant and numerous telefilms after leaving M*A*S*H. Henry Colman conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on August 22, 2000.

"In directing, I'm always looking for the little humane touch. Something that is real. It could be very, very small. It could be a hand on the shoulder. It could be just an extra lingering look on somebody you care about and so forth, for just a fraction. It could be a reaction from somebody....I'm looking for humanity, really. And that goes with comedy or drama."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Gene Reynolds on Fred MacMurray's unusual production schedule for My Three Sons
Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the theme song to M*A*S*H, "Suicide is Painless"
Gene Reynolds on the final episode of M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on his style of directing
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on attending the MGM Studio School and his early interest in comedy; on appearing as an extra in "Babes in Toyland" and in plays at the Pasadena Playhouse
On being under contract to MGM; on appearing in various MGM films; on enlisting in the Navy for World War II

Chapter 2

On the first time he saw television; on working in live television in the '50s; on acting on the Westerns The Long Ranger and Annie Oakley
On acting on I Love Lucy; on casting NBC Matinee Theater , Peter Gunn, and Bonanza

Chapter 3

On working with Henry Mancini on Peter Gunn; on directing Hennesey; on the Hollywood Blacklist
On how foreign films affect his directing style; on the M*A*S*H episode "Point of View"; on his directing style

Chapter 4

On choosing scripts to direct; on planning out scenes to direct; on the duties of a director; on his philosophy as a director
On keeping the audience in mind as a director and his philosophy as a director; on directing various comedies; on directing My Three Sons

Chapter 5

On the premise of My Three Sons; on Fred MacMurray as "Steve Douglas"; on the cast and popularity of the show
On directing Hogan's Heroes; on directing Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Chapter 6

On the premise of Ghost and Mrs. Muir; on directing Room 222; on difficult topics covered on Room 222
On the depiction of African-Americans on Room 222; on how M*A*S*H came about as a series

Chapter 7

On Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H; on the premise of M*A*S*H; on doing research for the show and the characters
On Wayne Rodgers as "Trapper John" on M*A*S*H; on the characters of M*A*S*H; on the death of "Henry Blake" on the show

Chapter 8

On the cast of M*A*S*H; on shooting the pilot for M*A*S*H; on the theme song and the show's writing team
On the directors of M*A*S*H; on executive producing M*A*S*H; on classic episodes of the show and the lack of official military involvement with the show

Chapter 9

On the M*A*S*H episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet"; on the popularity of M*A*S*H; on After MASH
On the legacy of M*A*S*H; on being hired for Lou Grant; on doing research for Lou Grant

Chapter 10

On James L. Brooks' and Allan Burns' contributions to Lou Grant; on the cast of Lou Grant; on shooting the pilot and the look of the show
On specific episodes of Lou Grant; on his favorite episodes of Lou Grant; on the cancellation of Lou Grant

Chapter 11

On the classic M*A*S*H episode "The Interview"; on various post-Lou Grant directing jobs; on his television mentors and being head of the Directors Guild of America
On how he'd like to be remembered; on then-current projects; on various people he worked with in his career
Shows

AfterMASH

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on After MASH

Alfred Hitchcock Presents aka The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Andy Griffith Show, The

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing The Andy Griffith Show

Anna and the King

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing Anna and the King

Annie Oakley

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on acting on the Westerns The Long Ranger and Annie Oakley

Armstrong Circle Theatre

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on mishaps during live television

Bonanza

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on casting Bonanza
Gene Reynolds on the beginning of the series Bonzana  when he was a casting director how he became a director on Hennesey

Farmer's Daughter, The

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing Farmer's Daughter

Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
Gene Reynolds on the premise of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir

Hennesey

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on the beginning of the series Bonzana  when he was a casting director how he became a director on Hennesey
Gene Reynolds on preparing to direct his first episode of Hennesey
Gene Reynolds on directing Hennesey  and his directing style

Hogan's Heroes

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing Hogan's Heroes
Gene Reynolds on working with Ivan Dixon on Hogan's Heroes

I Love Lucy

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on acting on I Love Lucy

In the Heat of the Night

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing In the Heat of the Night with Carroll O'Connor

Karen

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on producing the series Karen

Kraft Television Theatre

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on appearing on Robert Montgomery Presents and Kraft Television Theater

Leave it to Beaver

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing Leave it to Beaver and Pete and Gladys

Lone Ranger, The

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on acting on the Westerns The Long Ranger and Annie Oakley

Lou Grant

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on becoming involved with Lou Grant and the pilot episode
Gene Reynolds on putting "Lou Grant" in a dramatic setting on Lou Grant
Gene Reynolds on doing research for Lou Grant
Gene Reynolds on Nancy Marchand playing "Mrs. Pynchon" on Lou Grant
Gene Reynolds on James L. Brooks and Allan Burns' contributions to Lou Grant
Gene Reynolds on Edward Asner as "Lou Grant" on Lou Grant and the rest of the cast
Gene Reynolds on shooting the pilot of Lou Grant and shooting the show
Gene Reynolds on the directors of Lou Grant
Gene Reynolds on the ratings of Lou Grant
Gene Reynolds on the look of Lou Grant
Gene Reynolds on specific episodes of Lou Grant
Gene Reynolds on his favorite episodes of Lou Grant
Gene Reynolds on the cancellation of Lou Grant

M*A*S*H

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H episode "Point of View"
Gene Reynolds on how M*A*S*H came about as a TV series
Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on casting M*A*S*H with Bert Metcalf
Gene Reynolds on the premise of M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on traveling to Korea with Larry Gelbart to do research for M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the characters of M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on Wayne Rogers as "Trapper John" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on Loretta Swit as "Margaret Houlihan" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on Gary Burghoff as "Radar O'Reilly" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on McLean Stevenson as "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the casting of Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on Harry Morgan as "Sherman T. Potter" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on Mike Farrell as "BJ Hunnicut" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on dropping certain characters on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on shooting the pilot of M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the early ratings for M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the theme song to M*A*S*H, "Suicide is Painless"
Gene Reynolds on the writing team of M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on Alan Alda writing for M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on a typical production week for M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the directors of M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on Bert Metcalf as showrunner on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on executive producing M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on using the laugh track for M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H episode "Adam's Ribs"
Gene Reynolds on classic M*A*S*H episodes
Gene Reynolds on what Alan Alda brought to M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the lack of official military involvement with M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet"
Gene Reynolds on the popularity of M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H in regards to Vietnam
Gene Reynolds on balancing the comedy and the drama on M*A*S*H 
Gene Reynolds on leaving M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the final episode of M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the legacy of M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on classic M*A*S*H episode "The Interview"

M*A*S*H: "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen"

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on the final episode of M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H: "The Interview"

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on classic M*A*S*H episode "The Interview"

Munsters, The

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Fred Gwynne on The Munsters

My Three Sons

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing My Three Sons
Gene Reynolds on the premise of My Three Sons
Gene Reynolds on Fred MacMurray as "Steve Douglas" on My Three Sons
Gene Reynolds on the child actors on My Three Sons
Gene Reynolds on Fred MacMurray's unusual production schedule for My Three Sons
Gene Reynolds on the popularity of My Three Sons
Gene Reynolds on working with Don Fedderson on My Three Sons

NBC Matinee Theater

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on being a casting director for NBC Matinee Theater
Gene Reynolds on the Hollywood Blacklist

Pete and Gladys

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing Leave it to Beaver and Pete and Gladys

Peter Gunn

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on casting Peter Gunn
Gene Reynolds on working with Henry Mancini who wrote the Peter Gunn theme

Robert Montgomery Presents

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on appearing on Robert Montgomery Presents and Kraft Television Theater

Roll Out!

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on producing the series Roll Out

Room 222

View Show Page
Gene Reynolds on directing Room 222
Gene Reynolds on some of the difficult topics covered on Room 222
Gene Reynolds on being fired from Room 222
Gene Reynolds on the controversial topics covered on Room 222
Gene Reynolds on how African-Americans were depicted on Room 222
Topics

Anthology Drama

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on working in live television in the '50s

Bloopers

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on mishaps during live television
Gene Reynolds on mishaps during live television

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H

Classic TV series episodes

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Point of View"
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet"
Producer Gene Reynolds on the classic M*A*S*H  episode "The Interview"

Comedy

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet"
Producer Gene Reynolds on the classic M*A*S*H episode "The Interview"

Comedy-Variety

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Point of View"
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H

Creative Influences and Inspiration

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on his mentors in television

Diversity in Television

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on how African-Americans were depicted on Room 222

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on his service in the Navy in World War II
Gene Reynolds on how African-Americans were depicted on Room 222
Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H  in regards to Vietnam

Hollywood Blacklist

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on the Hollywood Blacklist 

Industry Crossroads

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on the Hollywood Blacklist 

Korean War

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H  in regards to Vietnam

Minorities

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on how African-Americans were depicted on Room 222

Pop Culture

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Point of View"
Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on the theme song to M*A*S*H, "Suicide is Painless"
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet"
Producer Gene Reynolds on the classic M*A*S*H  episode "The Interview"

TV Theme Songs

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on the theme song to M*A*S*H, "Suicide is Painless"

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

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on working in live television in the '50s

Television Industry

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on the Hollywood Blacklist

Vietnam War

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H  in regards to Vietnam

War

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on his service in the Navy in World War II
Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H  in regards to Vietnam

World War II

View Topic
Gene Reynolds on his service in the Navy in World War II
Professions

Directors

View Profession
Gene Reynolds on his style of directing
Gene Reynolds on planning out scenes
Gene Reynolds on the duties of a director
Gene Reynolds on his philosophy of directing
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Gene Reynolds on directing My Three Sons  (Part 1)
Gene Reynolds on directing My Three Sons  (Part 2)
Gene Reynolds on directing Hogan's Heroes
Gene Reynolds on directing Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Gene Reynolds on directing Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Part 2) (Part 1)
Gene Reynolds on directing Room 222
Gene Reynolds on producing M*A*S*H  (Part 1)
Gene Reynolds on producing M*A*S*H (Part 2)
Gene Reynolds on producing M*A*S*H (Part 3)
Gene Reynolds on producing M*A*S*H (Part 4)

Drama Series

View Genre
Gene Reynolds on producing Lou Grant (Part 1)
Gene Reynolds on producing Lou Grant (Part 2)
People

Alan Alda

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on what Alan Alda brought to M*A*S*H

Edward Asner

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on Edward Asner as "Lou Grant" on Lou Grant  and the rest of the cast

Lucille Ball

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on acting on I Love Lucy

James L. Brooks

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on James L. Brooks' and Allan Burns' contributions to Lou Grant

Gary Burghoff

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on Gary Burghoff as "Radar O'Reilly" on M*A*S*H

Allan Burns

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on James L. Brooks' and Allan Burns' contributions to Lou Grant

George Burns

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on directing Wendy and Me with George Burns

William Christopher

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy" on M*A*S*H

Jackie Cooper

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Jackie Cooper 
Gene Reynolds on working with Jackie Cooper

Jamie Farr

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on the casting of Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger" on M*A*S*H

Mike Farrell

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on Mike Farrell as "BJ Hunnicut" on M*A*S*H

Don Fedderson

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Don Fedderson on My Three Sons

Jim Fritzell

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell

Judy Garland

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on appearing in films with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland 

Everett Greenbaum

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell

Andy Griffith

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on directing The Andy Griffith Show

Fred Gwynne

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Fred Gwynne on The Munsters

Sheldon Leonard

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Sheldon Leonard

Fred MacMurray

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on directing My Three Sons
Gene Reynolds on Fred MacMurray as "Steve Douglas" on My Three Sons

Henry Mancini

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Henry Mancini who wrote the Peter Gunn  theme

Nancy Marchand

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on Nancy Marchand playing "Mrs. Pynchon" on Lou Grant

Albert McCleery

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on being a casting director for NBC Matinee Theater

Harry Morgan

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on Harry Morgan as "Sherman T. Potter" on M*A*S*H

Carroll O'Connor

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on directing In the Heat of the Night  with Carroll O'Connor

Wayne Rogers

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on Wayne Rogers as "Trapper John" on M*A*S*H

Mickey Rooney

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on appearing in films with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland 

McLean Stevenson

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on McLean Stevenson as "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H

Shirley Temple

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Shirley Temple

Grant Tinker

View Interview Page
Gene Reynolds on working with Grant Tinker

Spencer Tracy

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on appearing in the feature film "Edison, the Man" with Spencer Tracy

Billy Dee Williams

View Person Page
Gene Reynolds on directing Room 222

All Interviews

Q
S