Lee H. Katzin, 67, who directed scores of TV movies and feature films, including “Le Mans,” starring Steve McQueen, died of cancer Oct. 30 at his home in Beverly Hills.
Born in Detroit, Katzin earned a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology from Harvard University in 1957. He started his career in Hollywood in the late 1950s as an assistant television director before working his way up to director in 1965.
He directed hundreds of episodes of TV series such as “The Wild Wild West,” “The Rat Patrol,” “Mannix,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Miami Vice” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He earned an Emmy nomination for a “Mission: Impossible” segment titled “The Killing.” He also directed TV pilots for “Hondo,” “The Mod Squad” and “Storefront Lawyers.”
Katzin had directed only a couple of feature films, including “Along Came a Spider” and “Heaven With a Gun,” when he took over as director of the big-budget 1971 film “Le Mans” after the original director, John Sturges, and McQueen had a falling out over the racing film’s focus.