Pioneering TV Director Dies

Aug 5, 2015  •  Post A Comment

A television director who broke ground in a career going back to the 1940s has died. Deadline.com reports that Lela Swift, who broke in against the boys club as a female director at CBS in the early days of the medium, died Tuesday at her home in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 96.

“Swift went from gopher to an AD job on the network’s ‘Studio One’ in 1948, to directing nearly 600 episodes of ‘Dark Shadows’ and winning three Daytime Emmys over 14 years of helming the soap opera ‘Ryan’s Hope,'” Deadline reports.

The New York native directed episodes of “Suspense,” “The Web” and “The Dupont Show Of The Week,” among other programs.

“In 1966, Swift joined producer Dan Curtis on the ABC gothic serial ‘Dark Shadows,'” Deadline notes. “After a slow start, the show became a big hit; it ran five seasons and 1,225 episodes, and Swift directed nearly 600 of them and was a producer for the final seasons.”

She also directed more than 800 episodes of the ABC soap “Ryan’s Hope.”

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