Jay Sandrich has died at the age of 89. Mr. Sandrich was an award-winning director (5 Emmy Awards, 3 Director’s Guild Awards) best known for his work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Cosby Show.
Jay Sandrich began his career as an Assistant Director working on I Love Lucy, The Red Skelton Show, The Untouchables, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Dick Van Dyke Show and many others. Once Mr. Sandrich moved into the director’s chair he stayed busy working on The Danny Thomas Show, That Girl, Get Smart, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Here’s Lucy, The Odd Couple, and The Bob Newhart Show just to name a few. Often Mr. Sandrich would be hired to direct multiple episodes.
In 1970, Mr. Sandrich directed the pilot of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He would go on to direct 119 of the show’s 168 episodes! Jay Sandrich also directed episodes of the MTMS spin-offs: Rhoda, Phyllis and Lou Grant. After the MTMS ended Mr. Sandrich continued to direct some of the most popular shows on television including: Welcome Back Kotter, WKRP in Cincinnati, Benson and Soap.
In 1980, Jay Sandrich directed the feature film Seems Like Old Times starring Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Charles Grodin. Mr. Sandrich then returned to directing television shows including Night Court and The Golden Girls. Mr. Sandrich was then chosen as director for The Cosby Show. He not only directed the pilot but went on to direct 100 of the 197 episodes made!
Jay Sandrich continued to direct television projects that interested him, even adding episodes of The Office and Two and a Half Men to his resume. Jay Sandrich was named to the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2020.
It’s hard to imagine just how many hours I’ve enjoyed of programs directed by Jay Sandrich. He directed some of the funniest episodes of several classic series. That doesn’t happen by accident. If you haven’t seen his lone feature film: Seems Like Old Times. You should consider giving it a go. I remember seeing Seems Like Old Times when it was first released and really enjoying it. Jay Sandrich knew how to bring out the best in the performers he worked with.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jay Sandrich’s family, friends and fans.