Stan Harris Obituary – Death: Longtime Director Of TV Specials For John Wayne, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, David Bowie & More Has Passed Away At 92
Stan Harris, a longtime TV director and producer, passed away from natural causes at the age of 92 while in Toronto, surrounded by his family. He had a remarkable career in directing TV specials for a wide range of stars like Jack Benny, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and John Wayne.
His journey in the world of live music and comedy directing began at the CBC in Toronto, where he worked alongside peers like Norman Jewison, Arthur Hiller, and Eric Till. Some highlights from this period include directing Canada’s Hit Parade and a special featuring Nat King Cole called “Wild Is Love.”
In the early 1960s, he moved with his family to New York and began his career with the Directors Guild of America (DGA). He worked on various series, including “The Bing Crosby Show,” “The Steve Lawrence Show,” “The Milton Berle Show,” and “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.”
In the late ’60s, Stan Harris headed to Los Angeles to direct the immensely popular “Smothers Brothers” show. Around the same time, he directed “The 22nd Annual Tony Awards,” which significantly boosted his career in network specials.
He was also known as the second client to sign with Bernie Brillstein Management.
Stan Harris went on to direct numerous network specials for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including George Burns, Jack Benny, Johnny Cash, Duke Ellington, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Blondie, and John Wayne. In addition, he produced and directed “The Midnight Special” for NBC and worked on many episodes of “The Mancini Generation.”
He once shared with his son Danny that he cherished both his family and his career, feeling that his life had exceeded his wildest dreams.
Throughout his illustrious career, Stan Harris earned three Emmy nominations and received a DGA Award in 1982.
He is survived by his wife Fai Harris, a TV writer whom he married in 1956, as well as his daughters Lauren and Jayne, son Danny (all involved in the TV industry), grandchildren Alexandra, Kate, Samantha, Emma, Andrew, and Jeremy, and great-grandchildren Jonah and Bea.