Television legend Sheldon Leonard (1907-97) was one of the first people interviewed when the Archive of American Television began its pilot project in 1996.
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Leonard was the executive producer of such classic television series as The Danny Thomas Show/Make Room for Daddy, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and I Spy. He won two Emmy Awards— as director of Make Room for Daddy in 1961 and as producer of My World, and Welcome To It in 1970. In 1995 he was named an Honorary Life Member of the Directors Guild of America for his long-time services to the DGA as treasurer.
Producer/director/creator/writer Sheldon Leonard (1907-97) was interviewed for two-and-a-half hours in Beverly Hills, CA. Not only is Leonard’s interview significant to the Archive because of his death just six months after the interview, but because of the warmth, candor and vivid storytelling apparent throughout the interview. Leonard shared his fondest memories about the pioneering programs he produced such as The Danny Thomas Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and I Spy. He also spoke highly of the talented group of people he worked with like Danny Thomas, Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Cosby, Dick Van Dyke, Carl Reiner and Andy Griffith. The interview was conducted by Sam Denoff on July 11, 1996.