Daryl Duke, 77; directed ‘The Thorn Birds’ epic TV miniseries

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Daryl Duke, 77, a TV director and producer best known for the 1983 epic miniseries “The Thorn Birds,” died Saturday of pulmonary fibrosis at his home in West Vancouver, Canada.

A native of Vancouver, Duke got his start in television as a producer for the Canadian network CBC in the 1950s.

He moved to Hollywood in 1964 and produced “The Steve Allen Show” before going into directing. He won an Emmy in 1971 for directing an episode of the NBC series “The Bold Ones: The Senator,” starring Hal Holbrook.

Until the early 1990s, Duke directed TV movies and series, including “Tai-Pan” and “Columbo: Caution -- Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health.”


He also directed the 1973 film “Payday” featuring Rip Torn.

Duke co-founded an independent Vancouver television station in 1976 and ran it until 1988.