Gene Reynolds

Director / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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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."

Highlights
Gene Reynolds on Fred MacMurray's unusual production schedule for My Three Sons
01:36
Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
04:56
Gene Reynolds on the theme song to M*A*S*H, "Suicide is Painless"
01:58
Gene Reynolds on the final episode of M*A*S*H
02:35
Gene Reynolds on his style of directing
04:42
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
13:26
On being under contract to MGM; on appearing in various MGM films; on enlisting in the Navy for World War II
14:02

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
13:22
On acting on I Love Lucy; on casting NBC Matinee Theater , Peter Gunn, and Bonanza
15:08

Chapter 3

On working with Henry Mancini on Peter Gunn; on directing Hennesey; on the Hollywood Blacklist
14:57
On how foreign films affect his directing style; on the M*A*S*H episode "Point of View"; on his directing style
13:09

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
16:21
On keeping the audience in mind as a director and his philosophy as a director; on directing various comedies; on directing My Three Sons
12:13

Chapter 5

On the premise of My Three Sons; on Fred MacMurray as "Steve Douglas"; on the cast and popularity of the show
14:53
On directing Hogan's Heroes; on directing Ghost and Mrs. Muir
13:12

Chapter 6

On the premise of Ghost and Mrs. Muir; on directing Room 222; on difficult topics covered on Room 222
20:00
On the depiction of African-Americans on Room 222; on how M*A*S*H came about as a series
08:17

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
16:50
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
11:17

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
15:50
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
14:16

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
14:57
On the legacy of M*A*S*H; on being hired for Lou Grant; on doing research for Lou Grant
13:22

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
15:17
On specific episodes of Lou Grant; on his favorite episodes of Lou Grant; on the cancellation of Lou Grant
12:55

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
14:20
On how he'd like to be remembered; on then-current projects; on various people he worked with in his career
14:41
Shows

AfterMASH

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Gene Reynolds on After MASH
01:14

Alfred Hitchcock Presents aka The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

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Gene Reynolds on directing Alfred Hitchcock Presents
01:03

Andy Griffith Show, The

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Gene Reynolds on directing The Andy Griffith Show
01:54

Anna and the King

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Gene Reynolds on directing Anna and the King
01:07

Annie Oakley

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Gene Reynolds on acting on the Westerns The Long Ranger and Annie Oakley
02:48

Armstrong Circle Theatre

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Gene Reynolds on mishaps during live television
01:15

Bonanza

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Gene Reynolds on casting Bonanza
01:01
Gene Reynolds on the beginning of the series Bonzana  when he was a casting director how he became a director on Hennesey
05:56

Farmer's Daughter, The

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Gene Reynolds on directing Farmer's Daughter
00:29

Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The

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Gene Reynolds on directing The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
04:52
Gene Reynolds on the premise of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
06:05

Hennesey

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Gene Reynolds on the beginning of the series Bonzana  when he was a casting director how he became a director on Hennesey
05:56
Gene Reynolds on preparing to direct his first episode of Hennesey
03:42
Gene Reynolds on directing Hennesey  and his directing style
03:14

Hogan's Heroes

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Gene Reynolds on directing Hogan's Heroes
08:20
Gene Reynolds on working with Ivan Dixon on Hogan's Heroes
01:02

I Love Lucy

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Gene Reynolds on acting on I Love Lucy
03:03

In the Heat of the Night

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Gene Reynolds on directing In the Heat of the Night with Carroll O'Connor
03:25

Karen

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Gene Reynolds on producing the series Karen
01:23

Kraft Television Theatre

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Gene Reynolds on appearing on Robert Montgomery Presents and Kraft Television Theater
01:49

Leave it to Beaver

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Gene Reynolds on directing Leave it to Beaver and Pete and Gladys
01:54

Lone Ranger, The

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Gene Reynolds on acting on the Westerns The Long Ranger and Annie Oakley
02:48

Lou Grant

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Gene Reynolds on becoming involved with Lou Grant and the pilot episode
02:11
Gene Reynolds on putting "Lou Grant" in a dramatic setting on Lou Grant
03:49
Gene Reynolds on doing research for Lou Grant
01:05
Gene Reynolds on Nancy Marchand playing "Mrs. Pynchon" on Lou Grant
00:40
Gene Reynolds on James L. Brooks and Allan Burns' contributions to Lou Grant
02:52
Gene Reynolds on Edward Asner as "Lou Grant" on Lou Grant and the rest of the cast
05:50
Gene Reynolds on shooting the pilot of Lou Grant and shooting the show
02:41
Gene Reynolds on the directors of Lou Grant
01:55
Gene Reynolds on the ratings of Lou Grant
00:30
Gene Reynolds on the look of Lou Grant
01:28
Gene Reynolds on specific episodes of Lou Grant
06:50
Gene Reynolds on his favorite episodes of Lou Grant
03:52
Gene Reynolds on the cancellation of Lou Grant
02:13

M*A*S*H

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Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H episode "Point of View"
01:26
Gene Reynolds on how M*A*S*H came about as a TV series
03:22
Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
04:56
Gene Reynolds on casting M*A*S*H with Bert Metcalf
01:24
Gene Reynolds on the premise of M*A*S*H
05:22
Gene Reynolds on traveling to Korea with Larry Gelbart to do research for M*A*S*H
01:46
Gene Reynolds on the characters of M*A*S*H
03:21
Gene Reynolds on Wayne Rogers as "Trapper John" on M*A*S*H
00:50
Gene Reynolds on Loretta Swit as "Margaret Houlihan" on M*A*S*H
01:57
Gene Reynolds on Gary Burghoff as "Radar O'Reilly" on M*A*S*H
00:38
Gene Reynolds on McLean Stevenson as "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
01:40
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
04:53
Gene Reynolds on William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy" on M*A*S*H
00:54
Gene Reynolds on the casting of Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger" on M*A*S*H
02:58
Gene Reynolds on Harry Morgan as "Sherman T. Potter" on M*A*S*H
01:21
Gene Reynolds on Mike Farrell as "BJ Hunnicut" on M*A*S*H
00:21
Gene Reynolds on dropping certain characters on M*A*S*H
01:00
Gene Reynolds on shooting the pilot of M*A*S*H
02:39
Gene Reynolds on the early ratings for M*A*S*H
00:42
Gene Reynolds on the theme song to M*A*S*H, "Suicide is Painless"
01:58
Gene Reynolds on the writing team of M*A*S*H
03:12
Gene Reynolds on Alan Alda writing for M*A*S*H
01:20
Gene Reynolds on a typical production week for M*A*S*H
01:12
Gene Reynolds on the directors of M*A*S*H
01:12
Gene Reynolds on Bert Metcalf as showrunner on M*A*S*H
01:18
Gene Reynolds on executive producing M*A*S*H
01:11
Gene Reynolds on using the laugh track for M*A*S*H
01:30
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H episode "Adam's Ribs"
00:52
Gene Reynolds on classic M*A*S*H episodes
03:01
Gene Reynolds on what Alan Alda brought to M*A*S*H
00:55
Gene Reynolds on the lack of official military involvement with M*A*S*H
00:59
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet"
04:00
Gene Reynolds on the popularity of M*A*S*H
02:06
Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H in regards to Vietnam
01:57
Gene Reynolds on balancing the comedy and the drama on M*A*S*H 
01:34
Gene Reynolds on leaving M*A*S*H
01:31
Gene Reynolds on the final episode of M*A*S*H
02:35
Gene Reynolds on the legacy of M*A*S*H
02:06
Gene Reynolds on classic M*A*S*H episode "The Interview"
04:45

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

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Gene Reynolds on the final episode of M*A*S*H
02:35

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

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Gene Reynolds on classic M*A*S*H episode "The Interview"
04:45

Munsters, The

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Gene Reynolds on working with Fred Gwynne on The Munsters
00:35

My Three Sons

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Gene Reynolds on directing My Three Sons
05:49
Gene Reynolds on the premise of My Three Sons
04:23
Gene Reynolds on Fred MacMurray as "Steve Douglas" on My Three Sons
03:13
Gene Reynolds on the child actors on My Three Sons
02:19
Gene Reynolds on Fred MacMurray's unusual production schedule for My Three Sons
01:36
Gene Reynolds on the popularity of My Three Sons
00:52
Gene Reynolds on working with Don Fedderson on My Three Sons
00:16

NBC Matinee Theater

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Gene Reynolds on being a casting director for NBC Matinee Theater
09:21
Gene Reynolds on the Hollywood Blacklist
03:40

Pete and Gladys

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Gene Reynolds on directing Leave it to Beaver and Pete and Gladys
01:54

Peter Gunn

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Gene Reynolds on casting Peter Gunn
01:43
Gene Reynolds on working with Henry Mancini who wrote the Peter Gunn theme
01:38

Robert Montgomery Presents

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Gene Reynolds on appearing on Robert Montgomery Presents and Kraft Television Theater
01:49

Roll Out!

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Gene Reynolds on producing the series Roll Out
01:01

Room 222

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Gene Reynolds on directing Room 222
07:39
Gene Reynolds on some of the difficult topics covered on Room 222
01:11
Gene Reynolds on being fired from Room 222
02:08
Gene Reynolds on the controversial topics covered on Room 222
02:56
Gene Reynolds on how African-Americans were depicted on Room 222
02:36
Topics

Anthology Drama

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Gene Reynolds on working in live television in the '50s
02:56

Bloopers

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Gene Reynolds on mishaps during live television
01:15
Gene Reynolds on mishaps during live television
01:15

Characters & Catchphrases

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Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
04:56

Classic TV series episodes

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Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Point of View"
01:26
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
04:53
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet"
04:00
Producer Gene Reynolds on the classic M*A*S*H  episode "The Interview"
04:39

Comedy

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Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet"
04:00
Producer Gene Reynolds on the classic M*A*S*H episode "The Interview"
04:39

Comedy-Variety

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Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Point of View"
01:26
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
04:53

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Gene Reynolds on his mentors in television
00:40

Diversity in Television

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Gene Reynolds on how African-Americans were depicted on Room 222
02:36

Historic Events and Social Change

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Gene Reynolds on his service in the Navy in World War II
00:55
Gene Reynolds on how African-Americans were depicted on Room 222
02:36
Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H  in regards to Vietnam
01:57

Hollywood Blacklist

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Gene Reynolds on the Hollywood Blacklist 
03:40

Industry Crossroads

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Gene Reynolds on the Hollywood Blacklist 
03:40

Korean War

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Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H  in regards to Vietnam
01:57

Minorities

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Gene Reynolds on how African-Americans were depicted on Room 222
02:36

Pop Culture

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Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Point of View"
01:26
Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
04:56
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
04:53
Gene Reynolds on the theme song to M*A*S*H, "Suicide is Painless"
01:58
Gene Reynolds on the M*A*S*H  episode "Sometimes You Hear The Bullet"
04:00
Producer Gene Reynolds on the classic M*A*S*H  episode "The Interview"
04:39

TV Theme Songs

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Gene Reynolds on the theme song to M*A*S*H, "Suicide is Painless"
01:58

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

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Gene Reynolds on working in live television in the '50s
02:56

Television Industry

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Gene Reynolds on the Hollywood Blacklist
03:40

Vietnam War

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Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H  in regards to Vietnam
01:57

War

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Gene Reynolds on his service in the Navy in World War II
00:55
Gene Reynolds on M*A*S*H  in regards to Vietnam
01:57

World War II

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Gene Reynolds on his service in the Navy in World War II
00:55
Professions

Directors

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Gene Reynolds on his style of directing
04:42
Gene Reynolds on planning out scenes
01:11
Gene Reynolds on the duties of a director
04:49
Gene Reynolds on his philosophy of directing
02:19
Genres

Comedy Series

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Gene Reynolds on directing My Three Sons  (Part 1)
05:49
Gene Reynolds on directing My Three Sons  (Part 2)
14:53
Gene Reynolds on directing Hogan's Heroes
08:20
Gene Reynolds on directing Ghost and Mrs. Muir
04:52
Gene Reynolds on directing Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Part 2) (Part 1)
06:05
Gene Reynolds on directing Room 222
16:30
Gene Reynolds on producing M*A*S*H  (Part 1)
03:22
Gene Reynolds on producing M*A*S*H (Part 2)
28:07
Gene Reynolds on producing M*A*S*H (Part 3)
28:50
Gene Reynolds on producing M*A*S*H (Part 4)
17:03

Drama Series

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Gene Reynolds on producing Lou Grant (Part 1)
07:45
Gene Reynolds on producing Lou Grant (Part 2)
28:12
People

Alan Alda

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Gene Reynolds on casting Alan Alda as "Hawkeye Pierce" on M*A*S*H
04:56
Gene Reynolds on what Alan Alda brought to M*A*S*H
00:55

Edward Asner

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Gene Reynolds on Edward Asner as "Lou Grant" on Lou Grant  and the rest of the cast
05:50

Lucille Ball

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Gene Reynolds on acting on I Love Lucy
03:03

James L. Brooks

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Gene Reynolds on James L. Brooks' and Allan Burns' contributions to Lou Grant
02:52

Gary Burghoff

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Gene Reynolds on Gary Burghoff as "Radar O'Reilly" on M*A*S*H
00:38

Allan Burns

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Gene Reynolds on James L. Brooks' and Allan Burns' contributions to Lou Grant
02:52

George Burns

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Gene Reynolds on directing Wendy and Me with George Burns
01:04

William Christopher

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Gene Reynolds on William Christopher as "Father Mulcahy" on M*A*S*H
00:54

Jackie Cooper

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Gene Reynolds on working with Jackie Cooper 
02:12
Gene Reynolds on working with Jackie Cooper
01:00

Jamie Farr

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Gene Reynolds on the casting of Jamie Farr as "Max Klinger" on M*A*S*H
02:58

Mike Farrell

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Gene Reynolds on Mike Farrell as "BJ Hunnicut" on M*A*S*H
00:21

Don Fedderson

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Gene Reynolds on working with Don Fedderson on My Three Sons
00:16

Jim Fritzell

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Gene Reynolds on working with Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell
01:39

Judy Garland

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Gene Reynolds on appearing in films with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland 
01:06

Everett Greenbaum

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Gene Reynolds on working with Everett Greenbaum and Jim Fritzell
01:39

Andy Griffith

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Gene Reynolds on directing The Andy Griffith Show
01:54

Fred Gwynne

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Gene Reynolds on working with Fred Gwynne on The Munsters
00:35

Sheldon Leonard

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Gene Reynolds on working with Sheldon Leonard
01:26

Fred MacMurray

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Gene Reynolds on directing My Three Sons
05:49
Gene Reynolds on Fred MacMurray as "Steve Douglas" on My Three Sons
03:13

Henry Mancini

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Gene Reynolds on working with Henry Mancini who wrote the Peter Gunn  theme
01:38

Nancy Marchand

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Gene Reynolds on Nancy Marchand playing "Mrs. Pynchon" on Lou Grant
00:40

Albert McCleery

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Gene Reynolds on being a casting director for NBC Matinee Theater
09:21

Harry Morgan

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Gene Reynolds on Harry Morgan as "Sherman T. Potter" on M*A*S*H
01:21

Carroll O'Connor

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Gene Reynolds on directing In the Heat of the Night  with Carroll O'Connor
03:25

Wayne Rogers

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Gene Reynolds on Wayne Rogers as "Trapper John" on M*A*S*H
00:50

Mickey Rooney

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Gene Reynolds on appearing in films with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland 
01:06

McLean Stevenson

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Gene Reynolds on McLean Stevenson as "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
01:40
Gene Reynolds on killing off "Henry Blake" on M*A*S*H
04:53

Shirley Temple

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Gene Reynolds on working with Shirley Temple
00:29

Grant Tinker

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Gene Reynolds on working with Grant Tinker
01:00

Spencer Tracy

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Gene Reynolds on appearing in the feature film "Edison, the Man" with Spencer Tracy
00:36

Billy Dee Williams

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Gene Reynolds on directing Room 222
07:39

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