Walter Grauman

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Walter E. Grauman (March 17, 1922 – March 20, 2015) was an American director of stage shows, films and television shows.[1]

Walter Grauman
Born Walter E. Grauman
(1922-03-17)March 17, 1922
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died March 20, 2015(2015-03-20) (aged 93)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Director of stage shows, films and television shows

Early life[edit]

Grauman was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Jacob and Irene Grauman, both children of German immigrants who married after settling in the United States.[2] His father, Jacob Grauman, was president of a film distributing company.[2]

In his early years, Grauman lived in Shorewood, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, and later moved to Arizona where he attended the University of Arizona. He served for four years in the United States Army Air Forces flying 56 combat missions over Europe in a B-25 in the Twelfth Air Force[3] and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross [4] before moving to California, where his mother was living at the time.

Entertainment industry[edit]

After spending a few years running his own business, Grauman eventually took a job as stage manager at NBC's studios in Los Angeles. During his stint working at the network, he and relative (by marriage) Alan Armer developed a talent-show type program that proved popular, setting the mold for shows like Star Search and American Idol to follow.

In 1957, Grauman turned to films, directing "The Disembodied" for the "B film" division of Allied Artists Studios, which was headed by friend Walter Mirisch. Although he directed only six theatrical films, Grauman had one of the most active and long lasting television careers in history which included work on such shows as The Untouchables (1959 TV series), The Fugitive, Route 66, The Streets of San Francisco and The Twilight Zone. He also reportedly helped to get Michael Douglas one of his first jobs as a lead on The Streets of San Francisco.

Mr. Grauman directed 633 Squadron, a World War II film about a fictional squadron in the British RAF. In interviews, George Lucas has commented that he patterned the "trench run" sequence in his Star Wars: Episode IV on a scene from this film. (See the article on 633 Squadron for more information.)

Mr. Grauman was the creator/executive producer of the Los Angeles Spotlight Awards (not to be confused with the Spotlight Awards (GDC) for game developers), which are run through the Los Angeles Music Center. He was among the closest living relatives to Sid Grauman, owner and founder of Los Angeles' famous Grauman's Chinese Theater, Egyptian Theater and Million Dollar Theater. At the time of his death in 2015 at the age of 93, he resided in Los Angeles with his wife.[5]

Directorial credits, theatrical films[edit]

Pilots and television series[edit]

Plus over 275 30-minute and 1-hour filmed dramatic programs, including:

Live television drama[edit]

Director/creator/executive producer[edit]

Movies for television and mini-series[edit]

Movies for television and mini-series - director[edit]

CBS movies and mini-series - director/producer[edit]


  1. ^ O'Connor, John (April 22, 1988). "TV Weekend; Writers on Strike, Networks Rely on Movies". New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b 15th Census of the US; Shorewood Village, Milwaukee County, WI, ED 40-361, Sheet 29A
  3. ^ p.297 Kubey, Robert William Creating Television: Conversations with the People Behind 50 Years of American TV 2004 Routledge
  4. ^ "Graumans Hit High Note With Party Planning". Los Angeles Times. September 3, 1990. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]