50th Reunion

39 Thomas Armistead 2.jpg As a member of the Class of 1939, I was never exactly known as a student. Sandy Stearns, among others, will do a double flip (while groaning), when he learns that I took Post Graduate work at USC - and made all A’s! Also have a Master's Degree in Theatre Arts - theatrical Directing. I finally found something I really liked – after trying my father's clothing factory- which I didn’t like!

Came the war, I spent four years in China briefing missions in a fighter outfit. Post war I directed live TV at CBS in Hollywood. Directed the first full length "live" dramatic show on TV - Hedda Gabler. Later directed Robert Preston in Macbeth, etc. During this time I went back to USC and UCLA to lecture and teach film directing- also did same at the Pasadena Playhouse which was the State Theatre School.

I was a founding member of the Television Academy and was Chairman of the first Emmy Awards - a bit different from today's productions! Also served as a member of the TV Board in the Directors Guild of America.

During this time I was an Associate Producer for Bing Crosby Enterprises doing several TV series and then headed the Commercial Film department at J. Walter Thompson both in New York and Los Angeles (when it was still #1). Finally started my own Film Production Company, doing commercials (Ponds, Lux, Hunts, Dreyfus, Hertz, etc.). Even used Chase Morrisey's house in Grosse Point as a location for Lincoln.

The latest things (dramatic shows) - still running – are ABC Network "Weekend Specials". Have been twice nominated for TV Emmy awards in dramatic directing but - "always a bridesmaid - never a bride”.

My hobbies include raising orchids and remodeling old houses (we've moved 7 times). This hobby has turned into a small remodeling Consultant firm and while no competition to the Turner Construction Company, I do very well in remodeling homes in the three B' s (Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Brentwood).

Of course the best thing that ever happened to me was marrying my wife Cass (a Finch girl from 39 Thomas Armistead .jpg New York). We have two children - Kathy and Tom, very original- and one grandson. Cass is wildly successful in the Travel business and like Goon Guest, quite visible in Who's Who. She has also been president of every charity organization in Los Angeles and very involved in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as a Docent and Chairman of two of its Councils. Having a Travel Counselor in the family, we do travel a bit and next week head off to London and then Kenya on Safari- ballooning over the Masai Mara with my new Camcorder should be great.

I really have no pearls to drop other than that it has been a very good life and I wouldn't change a thing!


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