Jack Shea (director)

Last updated
Jack Shea
BornJohn Francis Shea, Jr.
(1928-08-01)August 1, 1928
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died April 28, 2013(2013-04-28) (aged 84)
Tarzana, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Director
Years active 19581997

Jack Shea (August 1, 1928 April 28, 2013) [1] was an American film and television director. He was the president of the Directors Guild of America from 1997 to 2002.

Directors Guild of America trade union

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is an entertainment guild that represents the interests of film and television directors in the United States motion picture industry and abroad. Founded as the Screen Directors Guild in 1936, the group merged with the Radio and Television Directors Guild in 1960 to become the modern Directors Guild of America.


Life and career

Born John Francis Shea, Jr., Shea's father was a traveling salesman and his mother a bookkeeper. He received a parochial high school education, later attaining a degree in History from Fordham University. Shea broke into the entertainment industry in 1951, initially as a stage manager for the TV series Philco Playhouse, and, following two years of service with the United States Air Force, serving from 1952-1954, during the Korean War, making instructional films in Los Angeles, [1] and later becoming an associate director.

Fordham University American university

Fordham University is a private research university in New York City. Founded by the Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841, it is the oldest Catholic university in the northeastern United States, the third-oldest university in New York, and the only Jesuit university in New York City.

United States Air Force Air and space warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the five branches of the United States Armed Forces, and one of the seven American uniformed services. Initially formed as a part of the United States Army on 1 August 1907, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces on 18 September 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the fourth in order of precedence. The USAF is the largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world. The Air Force articulates its core missions as air and space superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.

Korean War 1950–1953 war between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

Among the TV shows he contributed to during this period include The Jerry Lewis Show and The Bob Hope Show , where he later shared a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for in 1961. It was at this time when Shea became instrumental in forming the Radio and Television Directors Guild and was a strong voice for the hiring of minorities in the industry. During the 1970s, he began an association with producers Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear, and directed episodes from two of their projects in the 1970s, the series Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons (110 episodes for the latter [1] ). Among his other credits include The Waltons , Silver Spoons (91 episodes [1] ), Growing Pains and Designing Women , the last earning him a second Primetime Emmy Award nomination. From 1997 until 2002, he served as president of the Directors Guild. [1]

<i>The Jerry Lewis Show</i> television series

The Jerry Lewis Show was the name of several separate but similar American variety, talk and comedy programs starring comedian Jerry Lewis that aired non-consecutively between September 21, 1963 – 1984. The original version of the series aired on ABC from September 21, 1963–December 21, 1963. A second series of the same name aired on NBC from September 12, 1967–May 27, 1969. A final version also of the same name aired in first-run syndication for one week in June 1984.

The Primetime Emmy Award is an American award bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming. First given out in 1949, the award was originally referred to as simply the "Emmy Awards" until the first Daytime Emmy Award ceremony was held in 1974 and the word "prime time" was added to distinguish between the two.

Alan David "Bud" Yorkin was an American film and television producer, director, writer, and actor.

A lifelong Catholic, Shea was a co-founder, with his wife Patt and other prominent Catholics in the Hollywood entertainment community, of the Hollywood-based Catholics in Media Associates (CIMA), [1] which he was also past president of. Shea and Patt Shea jointly received the CIMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 from the organization of Catholic entertainment industry professionals which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013. Shea was also a former member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for Communications.

Personal life and family

On January 2, 1954, Shea married the former Patricia C. Carmody, who, later known as Patt Shea, became a 3-time Humanitas Award-nominated screenwriter whose credits include the CBS-TV series All in the Family , story editor and/or writer for 38 episodes of Archie Bunker's Place , in addition to screenwriter for episodes of "Lou Grant," “ Valerie , Cagney & Lacey , In The Heat of The Night , Bagdad Café , and the CBS pilot for Gloria , Sally Struthers’ spin-off from the popular All In The Family TV series, among many other television series. The couple, who resided in Studio City, CA for over 30 years, have five children, three of whom are currently DGA members* and 1st Assistant Directors*: Shawn Shea*; Elizabeth (now deceased); William (“Bill”) Shea*; Michael J. Shea* and John Francis (“Jay”) Shea III.

<i>All in the Family</i> American television series

All in the Family is an American sitcom TV-series that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network for nine seasons, from January 12, 1971 to April 8, 1979. The following September, it was continued with the spin-off series Archie Bunker's Place, which picked up where All in the Family had ended and ran for four more seasons.

<i>Archie Bunkers Place</i> American television series 1979-1983

Archie Bunker's Place is an American sitcom produced as a spin-off continuation of All in the Family that aired on CBS from September 23, 1979, to April 4, 1983. While not as popular as its predecessor, the show maintained a large enough audience to last for four seasons, until its cancellation in 1983. In its first season, the show performed so well that it knocked Mork & Mindy out of its new Sunday night time slot.

<i>Cagney & Lacey</i> American television series

Cagney & Lacey is an American television series that aired on the CBS television network for seven seasons from March 25, 1982, to May 16, 1988. A police procedural, the show starred Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly as New York City police detectives who led very different lives: Christine Cagney (Gless) was a career-minded single woman, while Mary Beth Lacey (Daly) was a married working mother. The series was set in a fictionalized version of Manhattan's 14th Precinct. For six consecutive years, one of the two lead actresses won the Emmy for Best Lead Actress in a Drama, a winning streak matched only once since in any major category by a show.


Shea died of complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers disease Progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by memory loss

Alzheimer's disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer's, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens over time. It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation, mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self care, and behavioural issues. As a person's condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.

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