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James Frawley, the Emmy-winning director who brought both the Monkees and the Muppets to screen success during a prolific television and film career spanning five decades, has died. He was 82. Frawley died on Jan. 22 at his home in Indian Well, as first reported in the Palm Springs Desert Sun.
Frawley was born in Houston in September 1936 but he was an heir of Hollywood as the youngest son of I Love Lucy and My Three Sons co-star William Frawley, who Lucille Ball hailed as “one of the greatest character actors of all time.” Show biz beckoned the second-generation Frawley who became an actor himself, first on stage and then and in classic 1960s television fare such as Gunsmoke, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Perry Mason, My Favorite Martian, Dr. Kildare, The Outer Limits and I, Spy.
Frawley - Career - Turn - Camera - Director
Frawley’s career took a major turn in 1966 when he set aside acting to step behind the camera as the director of an experimental new NBC series, The Monkees. Inspired by Beatlemania, the primetime music and comedy series introduced a “pre-feb” version of the Fab Four with Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Took and Mickey Dolenz as a daft pop troupe channeling their own riff on the frenetic charms of the Beatles films Help! and A Hard...
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