June 3, 2008
It’s been a terrible couple of weeks for early television-related deaths: Sydney Pollack, Dick Martin and Harvey Korman, theme music composer extraordinaire Earle Hagen, and the incredible Star Trek trio of Joseph Pevney (director), Robert H. Justman (producer), and Alexander Courage (composer). In the wake of all that, it’s possible that the news this week of another TV director’s death might be overlooked. Georg J. Fenady, a reliable action specialist whose work dates from the mid-sixties through the late nineties, died in Los Angeles on May 29.
Fenady was the younger brother of Andrew J. Fenady, the screenwriter/director/entrepreneur who created The Rebel while barely thirty years old. Georg (who at that time spelled his name “George”) worked on that series as a casting consultant, and then served as an assistant director and eventually associate producer on Combat. He made his directing debut on Combat in 1965 and continued to work almost exclusively in the same vein of hard, muscular, male-centric adventure series. (Which was fortunate, because within a decade that would seem to be the only kind of hour-long show one could find on American television.)
Fenady enjoyed long stints of a half-dozen or more episodes on Garrison’s Gorillas, Emergency, Quincy M.E., Knight Rider, Jake and the Fatman, the 1980s revival of Dragnet, and finally Baywatch. He directed a pair of horror movies, Terror in the Wax Museum and Arnold, both in 1973.