Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TV Director Reza Badiyi Passes On

Reza Badiyi, who directed television shows ranging from Get Smart to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, passed on 20 August 2011 at the age of 81.

Mr. Badiyi was born in Arak, Iran on 17 April 1930. He studied acting at the Academy of Drama in Iran. He eventually switched from acting to cinematography, and then to making documentaries. Before moving to the United States in 1955, he had made 21 documentaries. His documentary Flood in Khuzestan caught the attention of the United States, who invited him to come to the U.S. to study filmmaking. He studied filmmaking at the Syracuse University, then went to work for industrial film company Calvin Co. in Kansas City, Missouri. There he met director Robert Altman. He was assistant camera on Mr. Altman's short "The Magic Bond (1955) and  an assistant director on Mr. Altman's feature film debut, The Delinquents in 1957.

Reza Badiyi went onto be an assistant director on Carnival of Souls (1962) and an associate producer on the movie Terror at Black Falls (1962) and the TV series Run, Buddy, Run. In 1967 he created the titles for legendary sitcom He & She. He would go onto create title sequences for The Good Guys, Mary Tyler Moore, and Hawaii Five-O. He would be best known in television for his directing. Indeed, according to the Director's Guild, Mr. Badiyi holds the record for directing the most hours of American television. Over the years he directed episodes of such shows as  Get Smart, Hawaii Five-OThe Doris Day Show, Mission: Impossible, The Magician, Mannix, Serpico, Man From Atlantis, Baretta, The Rockford Files, Hart to Hart, Falcon Crest, Jake and the Fatman, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, In the Heat of the Night, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Nowhere Man, La Femme Nikita, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Reza Badiyi was not simply a prolific director in television, but a talented one as well. He was equally at home directing sitcoms as he was action adventure shows or dramas. In fact, in his long career he directed nearly every genre of television, from comedy to police drama to science fiction to horror. It was his skill as a director that allowed him to create the memorable title sequences to Hawaii Five-O and Mary Tyler Moore. Mr. Badiyi was a superior television director who paid more than usual attention to the camera work on the shows he directed.

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