"I adore the decent handling of people and I do that. Mostly they respond, sometimes they don't. But, I give them a good shake, and I'm rewarded in that. One actor said to me, 'one of the greatest gifts is the way you handle people.' And I like that and find that kind of comforting."
About This Interview
In his five-hour Archive interview, Robert Butler describes his early years breaking into the business as an usher at CBS. He describes his experiences in various behind-the-scenes capacities on such classic "live" anthology series as Climax! and Playhouse 90. He discusses his first break in television directing on the comedy/drama series Hennesey. He details his many and varied assignments in series television in the 1960s on such shows as The Detectives, Bonanza, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Dr. Kildare, Gunsmoke, The Defenders, The Fugitive, Hogan's Heroes, The Twilight Zone, Batman, and Star Trek. Butler describes his work in the 1970s on television movies (such as Columbo MOWs and James Dean) and feature films. He extensively describes his groundbreaking work on the look of Hill Street Blues, for which he directed several of the initial episodes (including the pilot). He talks about his later work on such series as Remington Steele, Moonlighting (the telefilm pilot), Out on a Limb, Midnight Caller (which he also executive-produced), Sisters, and Lois & Clark. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on January 14, 2004.