Oscar Rudolph, 79; Versatile Director of TV Series, Movies

Oscar Rudolph, who directed more than 500 television shows including such diverse series as "The Donna Reed Show," "Batman" and "The Lone Ranger," has died. He was 79.

Rudolph died Feb. 1 at Encino Hospital of complications following a stroke.

Born in Cleveland, Rudolph moved to California with his family in 1924 and began his Hollywood career as a child actor. His first film was "Little Annie Rooney," starring Mary Pickford.

After years as an assistant director, he broke into directing in his own right with the Barry Nelson television series "The Hunter," and then took on "The Thin Man" series starring Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk.

His films included "Rocket Man" and "Don't Knock the Twist."

Rudolph is survived by his wife of 53 years, Sylvia, a son and daughter.

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