James Sheldon, who directed 1,000 episodes of TV, dies at 95

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Prolific Television Director James Sheldon Dies at 95

James Sheldon once estimated that he directed over 1,000 episodes of television, adding, "I never stopped to count." He's not a household name, but he worked on many of the quintessential shows of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. The prodigious 95-year-old director, who died March 12 according to the New York Times, directed the classic Ray Bradbury Twilight Zone episode "I Sing the Body Electric" (decades later he said the show was one of the most fun things he worked on); 44 episodes of The Millionaire; an entire season of the short-lived The Bing Crosby Show; and episodes of Ironside (whose theme music Quentin Tarantino culled and re-purposed for Kill Bill), The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Fugitive, Naked City, Sanford and Son, The Virginian (one of the shows Kurt Russell's stuntman Mike claims to have worked on in Death Proof), and Batman. He worked from 1948, right before the Golden Age of Television, until 1986, retiring at the advent of cable TV. Sheldon never directed a feature film, making him a genuine icon of network television.

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James Sheldon, who directed 1,000 episodes of TV, dies at 95

January 1 -- Donna Douglas, actress best known for her role in "The Beverly Hillbillies."

(AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

January 7 -- Rod Taylor, actor best known for this leading role in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds."

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

January 9 -- Samuel Goldwyn Jr., was a famous producer and the father of "Scandal" star Tony Goldwyn.

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/WireImage)

January 10 -- Taylor Negron, was best known for his character roles in films "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Stuart Little."

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

January 11 -- Anita Eckberg, actress best known for her role in "La Dolce Vita." 

 (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

February 16 -- Lesley Gore, singer best known for the 60's hit "It's My Party."

(Photo by James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

February 16 -- Lorena Rojas, telenovela actress.

(Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)

February 27 -- Leonard Nimoy, actor known for his role as Mr. Spock in "Star Trek."

(Photo by Inter-News/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

March 8 - Sam Simon, a director, producer and writer, best known for co-creating "The Simpsons." (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

March 10 -- Richard Glatzer, writer and director best known for his Award-winning work, "Still Alice."

(Photo by Peter Bregg/Getty Images)

April 1 -- Cynthia Lennon, first wife of John and mother to musician Julian Lennon.

(Photo by Cummings Archives/Redferns)

April 6 -- James Best, actor best known for his role in "The Dukes of Hazzard".  (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

April 7 -- Geoffrey Lewis, actor and father of actress Juliette Lewis. Lewis regularly played opposite Robert Redford and Clint Eastwood in films.

 (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

April 14 -- Percy Sledge, singer best known for the hit "When a Man Loves a Woman."

(Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns)

April 23 -- Sawyer Sweeten (L), actor known for his role in "Everybody Loves Raymond" and died at age 19.

(Photo by Mike FANOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

April 30 -- Ben E. King, singer best known for the massive hit "Stand by Me."

 (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)

May 1 -- Grace Lee Whitney, actress best known for her role on "Star Trek."

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

May 6 -- Errol Brown, best known as the frontman for the soul and funk band Hot Chocolate. He died at age 71 

(Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

May 14 -- B.B. King, legendary blues musician, who won dozens of awards for his music. He died at the age of 89.

 (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

June 7 -- Christopher Lee, actor best known for his role in "The Lord of the Rings" franchise. Lee died at the age of 893.

(Photo: Getty Images) 

June 22 -- James Horner, composer best known for creating the music for "Titanic," for which he won an Academy Award. Horner also scored "Aliens," "Braveheart," "Avatar," and more popular films. 

 (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

July 3 -- Amanda Peterson, actress best known for her role in the popular 80's film "Can't Buy Me Love," co-starring Patrick Dempsey. Peterson died at the age of 43. 

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

July 3 -- Diana Douglas, actress and wife of actor Kirk Douglas, mother of Michael Douglas. She is known for her comedic film, "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." 

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

July 6 -- Jerry Weintraub, Emmy award-winning producer and talent agent best known for his work on films like the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise.

(Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)

July 9 -- Christian Audigier, clothing designer known for his Ed Hardy and Von Dutch lines. Audigier died at the age of 57.

 (Photo by Foc Kan/WireImage)

July 10 -- Omar Sharif, actor known for his roles in "Doctor Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia." 

(Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

July 18 -- Alex Rocco, actor best known for his role in "The Godfather." He won an Emmy Award for his role on the television comedy series, "The Famous Teddy Z." (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

July 26 -- Bobbi Kristina Brown, singer, actress and television personality. She was the daughter of Whitney Houston who died in a similarly tragic circumstance in 2012. Bobbi Kristina died at the age of 22.

(Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)

July 30 -- Lynn Anderson, Grammy award-winning country music artist known for songs like "Top of the World" and "Rose Garden." 

 (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

July 31 --"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, wrestler and actor. He died at the age of 61.

 (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage for BWR Public Relations)

August 7 -- Uggie the Dog, actor best known for his role in "The Artist."

 (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)

August 9 -- Frank Gifford, football player and television sports commentator. He was married to talk show host Kathie Lee Gifford and a father of 5 and died at the age of 84.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

August 17 -- Yvonne Craig, dancer and actress, best known for her role as Batgirl on the "Batman" television series.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

August 30 -- Wes Craven, filmmaker well-known for his horror film franchise "The Nightmare on Elm Street." He also created the "Scream" franchise. He died at the age of 76. 

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

September 1 -- Dean Jones, actor known for his role of Jim Douglas in "The Love Bug" films. 

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

September 3 -- Judy Carne, actress best known for her comedic roles on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh‑In" and "Love on a Rooftop."

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

September 4 -- Jean Darling, child actress known for her role in "My Gang."

(Photo by Film Favorites/Getty Images)

September 6 -- Martin Milner, actor best known for his roles in the 1960's television shows "Route 66" and "Adam-12."

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

September 19 -- Gary Richrath, guitarist for the band REO Speedwagon.

(Photo by Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

September 19 -- Jackie Collins, novelist and sister of actress Joan Collins. 

(AP Photo/File)

September 28 -- Catherine Coulson, actress known for her role as the Log Lady on David Lynch's "Twin Peaks."

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

October 24 -- Maureen O'Hara, prominent 1940's actress, she received an honorary Academy Award in 2014. She starred in "The Parent Trap" and "The  Miracle on 34th Street." 

(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

November 4 -- Melissa Mathison, screenwriter best known for writing "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" and her marriage Harrison Ford.  (Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage for Mann Productions)

November 16 -- David Canary, actor best known for his role on "All My Children."

(AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

November 23 -- Cynthia Robinson, trumpeter and vocalist of the band Sly and the Family Stone.

 (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

December 3 -- Scott Weiland, lead singer of the alternative rock band Stone Temple Pilots. He died at the age of 48.

(Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

December 4 -- Robert Loggia, actor known for Jagged Edge, which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He also starred in "Big" and "Scarface."

(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

December 6 -- Holly Woodlawn, one of the first known transgender actresses. She was a muse of Andy Warhol and inspiration for Lou Reed's 'Wild Side'

(Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

December 13 -- Rose Siggins, actress best known for her role in "American Horror Story: Freak Show."

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

December 28 -- Lemmy Kilmister, frontman of the rock band Motörhead.

(Photo by Jeff Hahne/Getty Images)

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