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George Louis Schaefer (December 16, 1920September 10, 1997) was a director of television and Broadway theatremarker from the 1950s to the 1990s. He was born in Wallingford, Connecticutmarker, and lived in Oak Park, Illinois for much of his boyhood and young adulthood.


Schaefer studied stage directing at the Yale School of Drama. He began his directing career while serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He directed over 50 plays for the troops. After being discharged, he directed for the Broadway theatremarker. His first production was of Shakespeare's Hamlet starring Maurice Evans. In 1953, Schaefer won a Tony Award his production of The Teahouse of the August Moon which he co-produced with Evans.

During the Golden Age of Television, he directed numerous live TV adaptations of Broadway plays for NBC's Hallmark Hall of Fame. His first episode for Hallmark was an adaptation of his Broadway staging of Hamlet starring Evans. In the 1980s, several of his productions for Hallmark aired in syndication under the title George Schaefer Showcase Theatre. His television work garnered him five Emmy wins out of 21 total nominations. He also won four Directors Guild of America Awards out of 17 nominations. He holds the record for the most DGA Award nominations. He also directed five theatrical films but to limited success.

From 1979 to 1981, Schaefer was president of the Directors Guild of Americamarker. He was as a board member of President Ronald Reagan's National Council on the Arts from 1982 to 1988. In 1985, he was appointed Chairman and later associate Dean at the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television where he stayed until 1991.

In 1996, he released his autobiography From Live to Tape to Film: 60 Years of Inconspicuous Directing.

Schaefer continued directing TV movies until his death in 1997. His final TV movie was an adaptation of Harvey. He is survived by his wife, Mildred, whom he married in 1954.

Selected television work

Selected Broadway theatre productions


  • Pendulum (1969)
  • Generation (1969)
  • Doctors' Wives (1971)
  • Once Upon a Scoundrel (1974)
  • An Enemy of the People (1978)

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