Gene Reynolds, “M*A*S*H” co-creator and former president of the Directors Guild of America, has died at the age of 96.
The news was confirmed in a pair of statements from DGA President Thomas Schlamme and former National Executive Director Jay D. Roth on Tuesday.
“Gene’s influence on the modern Directors Guild of America was significant and lasting,” said Schlamme. “During his two terms as President, he dedicated himself to making the Guild more inclusive — broadening the leadership base, encouraging younger members to take leadership positions, strengthening ties between feature directors, pushing the industry to do better on diversity and working to modify DGA agreements so that filmmakers with low budgets could benefit from DGA membership. Gene’s commitment to the Guild lasted long after his presidency ended, regularly attending Board and Western Directors Council meetings, and never hesitating to share his thoughts. He was passionate about this Guild, spirited in his beliefs and dedicated until the end.”
“Gene was President when I became National Executive Director,” said Roth. “He was absolutely committed to revitalizing and modernizing the Guild and laying the groundwork for its growth into the future. He cared deeply about diversity and growing the leadership base of the Guild, and his passion for the DGA never wavered.”
Reynolds served as president of the Directors Guild of America for four years starting in 1993. He began his career as an actor, serving as a contract player for MGM in the ’30s before transitioning into writing and directing full time.
He co-created “M*A*S*H” with Larry Gelbart in 1972, earning multiple Emmy nominations for his work on the acclaimed war comedy. His other television credits include “Room 222,” “Anna and the King,” “Lou Grant” and “Blossom. As a director, he helmed episodes of such shows as “Leave It to Beaver,” “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Hogan’s Heroes.”