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Robert Finkel dies at 94
Director, producer won three Emmys
By: Variety Staff
Posted On: May. 28, 2012
Robert Finkel, an Emmy-winning TV director and producer, died April 30 of age-related complications in Beverly Hills. He was 94.
Over the course of a smallscreen career that began in 1950, Finkel produced TV series with Dinah Shore, Andy Williams, Jerry Lewis, Phyllis Diller, among other stars.
He won three Emmys for his work on "The Andy Williams Show" in the 1960s.
During the 1970s, he directed episodes of "Barney Miller," "The Bob Newhart Show" and "McMillan and Wife."
Finkel also produced specials with Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley and John Denver, and in 1972 he produced the Emmys and exec produced the Oscars. Later producing efforts included "The Miss Universe Pageant" in 1976 and a number of the "Circus of the Stars" specials. He last produced the 1996 telepic "Have You Seen My Son."
Born in Pittsburgh, Finkel received a B.A. in drama from Carnegie-Mellon U. He began in Hollywood before WWII penning scripts for Westerns.
Finkel enlisted in the Army Signal Corps during the war and received several medals while serving in the Burma campaign.
He was at work in TV by 1950, helming an episode of the series "Mysteries of Chinatown." Other directing work in the 1950s included episodes of "Gruen Guild Theater," "City Detective" and "The Colgate Comedy Hour." He also directed and produced "The Dinah Shore Chevy Hour."
Finkel also taught at UCLA and USC and conducted a seminar for the American Film Institute.
He won a Peabody Award for a show with Julie Andrews, and in 1994 he received the Producers Guild's Honorary Lifetime Membership Award.
Survivors include a daughter.
(Associated Press contributed to this report.)