Paul Wurtzel, a veteran assistant director who was behind the cameras on a string of Quinn Martin productions such as "The Fugitive" and "The F.B.I.," has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wurtzel died April 18 of natural causes at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He was 92.
"His father was 20th Century Fox producer Sol Wurtzel, who produced the Shirley Temple classic 'Bright Eyes' (1934), gave Marilyn Monroe her first onscreen role in 'Dangerous Years' (1947) and discovered actor-turned-director John Ford, who delivered the eulogy at Wurtzel’s funeral in April 1958," THR reports.
Paul Wurtzel's credits included the 1950s series "The Thin Man" and the 1970s detective series "Barnaby Jones," starring Buddy Ebsen.
"Paul Wurtzel grew up in the Hollywood film colony and in the 1930s began working on the Fox Western lot on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue during summer breaks from Beverly Hills High School," THR reports. "After two years at UCLA, Wurtzel abandoned his studies and went to work for his father at Fox. He started his career in 1942 as second assistant director on the Laurel & Hardy movie 'A Haunting We Will Go.'"
Wurtzel learned the ropes at his fathers indie company, Sol M. Wurtzel Productions, in the 1940s and became a fixture as an assistant director on B-movies in the 1950s.
"Wurtzel migrated to television, starting as assistant director in 1957 on NBC’s adaptation of 'The Thin Man,' starring Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk as the famed detective couple Nick & Nora," the THR report notes. "He worked as an AD on such other shows as 'Fibber McGee and Molly'; 'The New Breed'; 'I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster,; starring Marty Ingles and John Astin; and three more dramas from Martin: '12 O’Clock High,' 'The Invaders' and 'The Streets of San Francisco.'"