Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Vincent Sherman R.I.P.

Director Vincent Sherman died Sunday night of natural causes at 99 years of age at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Los Angeles.

Sherman started out as an actor, appearing in several roles on Broadway starting with Volpone in 1928. He went onto appear in such plays as The Good Earth and Paradise Lost. He made his debut on film in the movie Counsellor at Law in 1933. Sherman's acting career was short, however, and it would be as a director that he would leave his mark in Hollywood.

Sherman's directorial debut was the B movie The Return of Dr. X. Sherman would go onto direct such movies as Nora Prentiss and The Adventures of Don Juan. His career was interrupted in the Fifties when a government agent told Warner Brothers that Sherman had communist ties. Sherman was associated with the communist party, although he knew people who did--guilt by association was enough to injure or end a film career during the Red Scare.

Sherman returned to directing movies with 1957's The Garment Jungle. With the TV series 77 Sunset Strip Sherman started directing in television. He would go onto direct episodes of Medical Center, The Waltons, and Baretta.

I can't say Vincent Sherman had an enormous impact on my life. That having been said, he did direct some films that I really liked, among them The Adventures of Don Juan and Mr. Skeffington. He may not be remembered as one of the all time great directors, but I rather suspect he will not soon be forgotten.

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