"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
Robert Butler was interviewed for five hours in Los Angeles, CA. Butler described his early years breaking into the business as an usher at CBS. He described his experiences in various behind-the-scenes capacities on such classic "live" anthology series as Climax! and Playhouse 90. He described his first break in television directing on the comedy/drama series Hennesey. He detailed his many and varied assignments in series television in the 1960s on such series 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 described his work in the 1970s on television movies (such as Columbo MOWs and James Dean ) and feature films. He extensively described his groundbreaking work on the look of Hill Street Blues , for which he directed several of the initial episodes (including the pilot). He talked 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. The interview was conducted by Stephen J. Abramson on January 14, 2004.