Jack Shea Dies: Television Director Was 84

    April 30, 2013
    Amanda Crum
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Jack Shea, who built a career directing successful sitcoms after a fluke job opportunity, has died of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 84 years old.

Shea was just 27 when he was pushed into the director’s chair after the man helming the game show “Truth Or Consequences” called in sick; it would be the beginning of a lifelong career move that included direction of shows like “The Jeffersons”, “Silver Spoons”, “Designing Women”, and “Sanford And Son”.

The Emmy-nominated director was adamant in pushing for diversity in hiring practices and was a 3-time president of the Director’s Guild. He and his wife, Patt, also helped form Catholics in Media Associates in order to honor films and television shows which celebrated spiritual values.

“The guild has always tried to do something about [gender and ethnic diversity] … when I joined the guild, the guild was all white, all male. But we now have a wide range of people in this group,” he once said.

“Jack Shea occupied a truly unique position in the history of the modern DGA. As the West Coast president of the Radio & Television Directors Guild in 1960, he was at the table sitting across from Frank Capra when the two guilds representing television and theatrical directors merged to form the modern Directors Guild of America,” said Directors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford in a statement. “Beloved by his fellow directors, the DGA membership and the DGA staff, he always had a ready smile and keen interest in everyone he encountered. Jack enjoyed life and shared it with everyone around him; as a leader, his gentle manner and the kindest of hearts will be the things we miss the most.”

Image: Directors Guild Of America

  • http://webpronews cate lynn

    Rest in Peace, Mr Shea, and thank you for all the shows you produced. You are and will always be a very classy man.

  • http://webpronews cate lynn

    Rest in Peace, Mr Shea. And thank you for all the shows you produced. You are and will always be a very classy man.

  • http://www.tradewindsradio.com Allen Engebretsen

    This is a “who was that masked man keemosabe?” comment. I was editing a show at Absolute Post in Burbank when Jack Shea came into the suite and handed my editor a sheaf of papers. I said, “excuse me, I’m paying for this time.” Jack responded, “That’s terrific, I’m Jack Shea.” then he left. I asked Peter, “Who was that guy?” And Peter said, “probably the most important new contact you’ve made in TV.” May God surround His servant Jack with angels and archangels and all the company of Heaven, fade to black.

  • Veronica Baum

    MAY YOU REST IN PEACE Mr.Shea in heaven im sure…God bless your family..ive always loved The Jeffersons and Sandford and Son…thought provoking original and emotionally moving TV is what you gave us…you will be missed!

  • Bob

    What a gifted man. He brought a lot of laughs and hapiness into the world with these great old tv shows! Most of the sitcoms today arn’t even funny.

  • Rosemary White

    My sincere condolences to the whole Shea family especially Shawn, Bill and Michael. You are in my thoughts.