Lela Swift

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Lela Swift (born Lillian Siwoff; February 25, 1919 – August 4, 2015)[1] was a television director and producer, best known for her work on Dark Shadows, which she also produced from 1970–71, and Ryan's Hope.

Early life[edit]

She was born in 1919 as Lillian Siwoff in New York City, New York.[1]


Swift started her career in the secretarial pool at CBS.[2] She worked behind the scenes on news programs there.[3] She worked through the studio system ranks at CBS and served as an assistant director on several anthology series.[2]

In 1961-1962, she moved to NBC and worked on the Purex Specials for Women series.[1] In 1966, she joined Dan Curtis to work on the Dark Shadows television series. It lasted five seasons with 1,225 episodes. Swift directed almost half of the episodes during its run.[4]

She later served as one of the directors for the series Ryan's Hope, a daytime drama about a large working-class Irish-American family, which lasted 14 years.[5]


Swift received four Daytime Emmy nominations for her work on Ryan's Hope and won in 1977, 1979, and 1980.[6] She also received a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Best Individual Director for a Special Program category for an episode of The ABC Afternoon Playbreak.[7]

Death and legacy[edit]

She died in Santa Monica, California on August 4, 2015.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Her husband, Gilbert (Geb) Schwartz, died on January 30, 2015 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease for many years. The couple had two sons, Russell and Stuart Schwartz, who both work in the television industry.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "The Paley Center for Media - She Made It - Lela Swift". shemadeit.org. Archived from the original on February 13, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Variety Staff. "Lela Swift, Pioneering TV Director, Dies at 96". Variety. 
  3. ^ Conway, Mike. The Origins of Television News in America: The Visualizers of CBS in the 1940s. New York: Peter Lang, 2009; ISBN 9781433106026, p. 217.
  4. ^ Dominic Patten, Erik Pedersen. "Lela Swift Dies: Pioneering TV Director Worked On 'Dark Shadows', 'Ryan’s Hope'". Deadline.com. 
  5. ^ Notice of death of Lela Swift, deadline.com; accessed August 20, 2015.
  6. ^ "Lela Swift". Television Academy. 
  7. ^ Profile, imdb.com; accessed August 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Dominic Patten, Erik Pedersen. "Lela Swift Dies: Pioneering TV Director Worked On Dark Shadows, Ryan’s Hope". Deadline. Retrieved January 19, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]