#M(ichigan)M(ovie)H(istory) On this day, April 12, 1935, director Lee H. Katzin was born

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It was on this day, April 12, 1935  American director Lee H. Katzin  was born in Detroit, Michigan. Harvard-educated director Lee H. Katzin (1935-2002) was a protégé of filmmaker Robert Aldrich.

Katzin’s official theatrical directorial debut was the cult classic Aldrich-produced melodrama Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice (1969); in truth, a year or so earlier he directed the disastrous The Phynx, which had an extremely limited release in 1970.  An array of theatrical film starting with Heaven with a Gun and other films like The Break followed.  His big-budget break came when he replaced John Sturges as director for Le Mans (1971).  In 1972, he directed the film The Salzburg Connection, which starred Barry Newman and Anna Karina.

While Katzin produced many theatrical releases,  In the late 1960s he became a TV director. Turning to made-for-television movies, he became one of the busiest directors in that genre.   His director TV credits include “Movie of the Week” fare like Along Came a Spider (1970) and Ordeal (1973), pilot films like the short-lived American science fiction television series Man from Man From Atlantis (1977), and several episodes of the British sci-fi series  Gerry Anderson live-action series Space: 1999 (1975-77).   He also directed episodes for Bonanza, Mission: Impossible and Police Story.

The following year he wrote with Halloween director John Carpenter,  the pilot episode for a comedy, Zuma Beach  although this was never commissioned as a series.  He also directed many episodes of the 1980s television series MacGyver.

In 1988 he returned to directing movies with the release World Gone Wild.


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