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Gene Reynolds

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Picture of Gene Reynolds from the film Galant Sons.
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Eugene "Gene" Reynolds Blumenthal (born April 4, 1923, in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American character actor who later became a writer and a producer/director, including acting as a director for 34 episodes of the mid-1960s American sitcom, Hogan's Heroes. When he became involved in a series, as either a director or producer, Reynolds would research the subject, including interviewing those actually involved in the subject to be protrayed on television, so that the series finally shown to the viewing public would be considered authentic.

Biography Edit

Born in Cleveland, Ohio to businessman and entrepreneur, Frank Eugene Blumental and his wife, and growing up in Detroit, Michigan, Reynolds started working as a child actor in the 1930s. As a child actor, he would appear in such films as Boys Town, Edison, the Man, Prisoner of War, The Mortal Storm and Jungle Patrol, and would later appear on such televison shows as Studio 57, Dragnet, The Public Defender and I Love Lucy. In the 1950s, he started the transition to becoming a writer, by writing for Tales of Wells Fargo, a series which he was also the creator. Reynolds would later write for the television version of M*A*S*H and Lou Grant, series which he would also helped to produce and direct.

At the same time that he was working on Tales of Wells Fargo, he was also beginning to produce, and/or direct, television episodes, soon working on such shows as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, My Three Sons, The Munsters, F Troop, The Farmer's Daughter, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Captain Nice and Mannix.

By the time he was working as a director/producer on The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Reynolds has quit acting, with his last appearance being on an episode of the mid-60s sitcom, Captain Nice, a series for which he was also acting as a director. In 1969, he began working on the series, Room 222, a series that was set in a southern California high school of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The series, looking at the lives of the school's teachers, administrators and students, used light dialogue to attract viewers to the show every week while looking at the social issues of the day and their impact on the school.

After Room 222, Reynolds would involve himself with Larry Gelbart in the television adaptation of the social-satire book and later successful film, MASH. The long running series, which was a look at an Army surgical unit during the Korean War, but was really commenting on the United States involvement in Vietnam, uses comedy to act as a counterpoint to the human dilemma of facing bureaucratic tangles while facing possible death, and commenting on the absurdity of war. Receiving two Emmy Awards for best directing in 1975, and 1976, he became the series' executive producer full time in 1977 after Larry Gelbart's departure.

Also in 1977, Reynolds, teaming up with James L. Brooks and Allan Burns, became involved with the new Lou Grant series, which transferred the popular character, Lou Grant, from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, where he became an editor of a newspaper. The critically acclaimed series dealth with constitutional and ethical issues, pitting journalists of a metropolitian newspaper against politicians, corporate executives, courts and the general public, avoiding cliché-driven plots by focusing on complex, unresolved issues and the show's vulnerable characters.

After Lou Grant, Reynolds would work on such television shows as Blossom, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Touched by an Angel, as well as such television movies as In Defense of Kids and Doing Life. He also did pilot episodes of possible television series. He served as President of the Directors Guild of America DGA from 1993-1997. Reynolds would win five Emmy Awards, a Directors Guild of America Award and a Peabody Award. His last produced program was the 30th Anniversary M*A*S*H Reunion show which was shown in 2002. He has been married twice and has a son.

Filmography Edit

Notable TV Guest Appearances Edit

  • Captain Nice playing "Actor" in the episode: "Is Big Town Burning" (episode # 1.6) 27 February 1967
  • Hennesey playing "Bob" in the episode: "Pilot" (episode # 1.1) 28 September 1959
  • Code 3 playing "Actor" in the episode: "The Bite" (episode # 1.11) 11 June 1957
  • Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theater playing "Actor" in the episode: "Small Talk" (episode # 2.22) 12 February 1957
  • I Love Lucy playing "Mr. Taylor" in the episode: "Lucy Hates to Leave" (episode # 6.16) 4 February 1957
  • Whirlybirds playing "Hal Neilson" in the episode: "Rampage" (episode #1.2) ???? 1957
  • Crossroads playing "Actor" in the episode: "With Charity for All" (episode # 2.6) 19 November 1956
  • Crossroads playing "Jack" in the episode: "The Pavement Pastor" (episode # 1.21) 24 February 1956
  • Studio 57 playing "Private Peter Hunter" in the episode: "Georgia Man" (episode # 2.15) 8 Januray 1956
  • You Are There playing "Soldier Loyal to Napoleon" in the episode: "Napoleon's Return from Elba (March 7, 1815)" (episode # 3.42) 19 June 1955
  • Hallmark Hall of Fame playing "George Eastman" in the episode: "The Man with a Camera" 22 May 1955
  • TV Reader's Digest playing "Hugo" in the episode: "France's Greatest Detective" (episode # 1.18) 16 May 1955
  • Lux Video Theatre playing "Actor" in the episode: "Eight Iron Man" (episode # 5.38) 12 May 1955
  • Annie Oakley playing "Steve Bailey" in the episode: "Trouble Shooter" (episode # 2.17) 1 May 1955
  • The Public Defender playing "Eddie Fraser" in the episode: "Big Steel" 17 February 1955
  • The Man Behind the Badge playing "Actor" in the episode: "The Case of the Dying Past" (episode # 2.6) 12 February 1955
  • Treasury Men in Action playing "Actor" in the episode: "The Case of the Unfair Verdict" (episode # 5.17) 27 January 1955
  • Studio 57 playing "Actor" in the episode: "The Bewildered Bride" (episode # 1.16) 4 Januray 1955
  • The Ford Television Theatre playing "Kalinsky" in the episode: Charlie C Company" (episode # 3.10) 9 December 1954
  • Waterfront playing "Actor" in the episode: "Harbor Bound" (episode 2.39) ???? 1954
  • Dragnet playing "Actor" in the episode: "The Big Dance" (episode # 2.33) 25 June 1953
  • Danger playing "Actor" in the episode: "The Strong Finish" (episode # 2.35) 13 May 1952
  • Armstrong Circle Theatre playing "Actor" in the episode: "Disater" (episode # 2.14) 18 December 1951
  • The Lone Ranger playing "Jim Andrews" in the episode: "Outlaw Town" (episode # 1.18) 12 January 1950
  • Your Show Time playing "Actor" in the episode: "Birthday of the Infants" (episode # 1.19) 27 May 1949

Director Edit

Producer Edit

Miscellaneous Crew Edit

Writer Edit

External links Edit

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