Robert Butler (director)

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Robert Butler
Born (1927-11-16) November 16, 1927 (age 93)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Film director, television director

Robert Butler (born November 16, 1927) is an American film [1] and Emmy Award-winning television director. He is best known for his work in television, where he directed the pilots for a number of series including Star Trek , Hogan's Heroes and Hill Street Blues . [2]



Butler graduated from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he majored in English. He was first in an army band, before his career as a stage manager and an assistant before launching his directing career with an episode of Hennesey (starring Jackie Cooper and including a young Ron Howard) [2] and then went on to direct such shows as The Untouchables , Dr. Kildare , The Dick Van Dyke Show , Batman , The Fugitive and The Twilight Zone .

Butler shot pilots for many TV series including the original Star Trek , Shane , Hogan's Heroes , Batman , The Blue Knight , Hill Street Blues , Remington Steele (a show which he also co-created), Moonlighting , Sisters , and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman .

Butler has also directed episodes for many other shows, including I Spy , Blue Light , The Invaders , Gunsmoke , The Outcasts , Mission: Impossible , Kung Fu , Hawaii Five-O , Columbo: Publish or Perish , Columbo: Double Shock , and Midnight Caller .

He directed actor Kurt Russell in four Walt Disney movies, including Guns in the Heather , The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and The Barefoot Executive .

Butler has won two Emmy Awards for outstanding directing, the first in 1973 for The Blue Knight pilot, and the second in 1981 for his Hill Street Blues premiere.

In 2014 Butler's work was the subject of a career retrospective at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. [2]

Butler was honored by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) with a Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2015. [3]



1969 Guns in the Heather Director
The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes Director
1971 The Barefoot Executive Director
Scandalous John Director
Death Takes a Holiday Director
1972 Now You See Him, Now You Don't Director
1973 The Blue Knight DirectorTelevision Movie
1974McMasters of SweetwaterDirectorTelevision Movie
The Ultimate Thrill Director
1975Black BartDirector, Producer
Strange New World Director
1976Dark VictoryDirectorTelevision Movie
James Dean Director
Mayday at 40,000 Feet! DirectorTelevision Movie
1977In the Glitter PalaceDirectorTelevision Movie
1978 Hot Lead and Cold Feet Director
Lacy and the Mississippi QueenDirectorTelevision Movie
A Question of GuiltDirectorTelevision Movie
1980 Night of the Juggler Director
1981 Underground Aces Director
1984Concrete BeatDirectorTelevision Movie
Up The Creek Director
1986Long Time GoneDirectorTelevision Movie
1987On The EdgeDirector, Writer, ProducerTelevision Movie
1988 Out Of Time Director, Executive ProducerTelevision Movie
1991The BrotherhoodDirectorTelevision Movie
1992Bay City StoryExecutive ProducerTelevision Movie
1994 White Mile DirectorTelevision Movie
1997 Turbulence Director
1998Glory, GloryDirector, Executive ProducerTelevision Movie
2009Where Do the Balloons Go?Director


YearTV SeriesCreditNotes
1956-58 Climax! Associate Director4 Episodes
1958-59 Playhouse 90 Associate Director3 Episodes
1959-60 Hennesey Director3 Episodes
1960HappyDirector1 Episode
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis Director1 Episode
1960-61 The DuPont Show with June Allyson Director5 Episodes
1961 Bonanza Director1 Episode
The Dick Van Dyke Show Director2 Episodes
The Dick Powell Theater Director1 Episode
The Gertrude Berg Show Director2 Episodes
Have Gun – Will Travel Director1 Episode
Michael Shayne Director1 Episode
Peter loves MaryDirector2 Episodes
1961-62 The Detectives Director5 Episodes
1962 Follow The Sun Director3 Episodes
The Rifleman Director1 Episode
1962-63 Dr. Kildare Director2 Episodes
Stoney Burke Director2 Episodes
The Untouchables Director7 Episodes
1963 Ben Casey Director3 Episodes
The Greatest Show On Earth Director2 Episodes
The Richard Boone Show Director1 Episode
1963-64 The Lieutenant Director2 Episodes
1963-65 The Defenders Director2 Episodes
1964 Arrest and Trial Director1 Episode
The Twilight Zone Director2 Episodes
1964-66 The Fugitive Director6 Episodes
1965 Mister Roberts Director5 Episodes
Run For Your Life Director1 Episode
The Virginian Director1 Episode
1965-66 Hogan's Heroes Director5 Episodes
1965-75 The Magical World Of Disney Director12 Episodes
1966 Blue Light Director1 Episode
Shane Director1 Episode
I Spy Director4 Episodes
Batman Director6 Episodes
Star Trek Director2 Episodes
1967 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Director1 Episode
The Invaders Director3 Episodes
Judd, for the Defense Director2 Episodes
N.Y.P.D. Director2 Episodes
1967-72 Gunsmoke Director3 Episodes
1967-81 Insight Director, Producer4 Episodes
1968 Cimarron Strip Director2 Episodes
Ironside Director1 Episode
1969 Mission: Impossible Director1 Episode
The Outcasts Director1 Episode
CBS Playhouse Director1 Episode
1969-70 Lancer Director4 Episodes
1970 Then Came Bronson Director1 Episode
1972 Nichols Director1 Episode
1972-73 The Waltons Director3 Episodes
1973 Doc Elliot Director1 Episode
Hawaii Five-O Director1 Episode
Kung Fu Director4 Episodes
Roll Out Director1 Episode
1973-74 Columbo Director2 Episodes
1975 The Blue Knight Director1 Episode
1981 Hill Street Blues Director6 Episodes
1982-87 Remington Steele Director, Creator, Producer, Executive ConsultantMultiple Episodes
1985 Moonlighting Director1 Episode
Our Family Honor Director1 Episode
1987Out on a LimbDirector2 Episodes
1988-91 Midnight Caller Director, Executive Producer, Executive ConsultantMultiple Episodes
1991-96 Sisters Director, Executive ConsultantMultiple Episodes
1993 Sirens Director2 Episodes
1993-94 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Director, Executive Consultant, Executive ProducerMultiple Episodes
1999St. Michael's CrossingDirector, Executive Producer
2001 The Division Director1 Episode

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  1. "Robert Butler". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times . Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 2013-07-28.
  2. 1 2 3 Susan King, "Director Robert Butler put stamp on 'Batman,' other landmark series", Los Angeles Times , February 15, 2014.
  3. Variety, February 5, 2015