Gene Reynolds (born Eugene Reynolds Blumenthal, April 4, 1923 - February 3, 2020) was an American actor, television writer, director, and producer. He was one of the producers of the TV series M*A*S*H.
1 Early life
2 Acting career
3 Behind the Scenes career
4 Personal life
8 External links
Reynolds was born on April 4, 1923 to Frank Eugene Blumenthal and Maude Evelyn Blumenthal in Cleveland, Ohio. He was raised in Detroit, Michigan, where his father Frank was a businessman and entrepreneur. The family relocated to Los Angeles, California, in 1934.
He made his screen debut in the 1934 Our Gang short Washee Ironee, and for the next three decades made numerous appearances in films such as In Old Chicago (1937), Captains Courageous (1937), Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), Boys Town (1938), They Shall Have Music (1939), Santa Fe Trail (1940), Adventure in Washington (1941), Eagle Squadron (1942) and The Country Girl (1954) and on television series like I Love Lucy, Armstrong Circle Theatre, Whirlybirds, and Hallmark Hall of Fame. He was contracted to MGM between 1937 and 1940. He was in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Behind the Scenes career
In 1957, Reynolds joined forces with Frank Gruber and James Brooks to create Tales of Wells Fargo for NBC. During the program's five-year run he wrote and directed numerous episodes. Additional directing credits include multiple episodes of Leave It to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, The Farmer's Daughter, My Three Sons, F Troop, Hogan's Heroes, Room 222, and Many Happy Returns.
As a writer, director, and producer, Reynolds was involved with two highly successful CBS series in the 1970s and early 1980s. Between 1972 and 1983, he produced 120 episodes of M*A*S*H, which he co-created with Larry Gelbart, and for which he also wrote 11 episodes and directed 24. During that same period, he produced 22 episodes of Lou Grant, for which he wrote (or co-wrote) five episodes and directed 11.
Reynolds has been nominated for twenty-four Emmy Awards and won six times, including Outstanding Comedy Series for M*A*S*H and Outstanding Drama Series twice for Lou Grant, which also earned him a Humanitas Prize. He won the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Direction of a Comedy Series twice for his work on M*A*S*H and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Direction of a Drama Series once for his work on Lou Grant.
Reynolds was elected President of the Directors Guild of America in 1993, a post he held for four years until 1997.
Reynolds was married to actress-turned author Bonnie Jones, who appeared in five episodes of M*A*S*H as Lt. Barbara Bannerman, from 1972 until 1975, when the couple divorced. He and his current wife, actress Ann Sweeny, who also appeared on M*A*S*H as Nurse Carrie Donovan in two episodes, married in 1979 and have one son, Andrew Reynolds.
Reynolds died of heart failure on February 3, 2020 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.
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