TOS Director Joseph Pevney Dies at 96 | TrekMovie.com
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TOS Director Joseph Pevney Dies at 96 May 25, 2008

by Charles Trotter , Filed under: TOS , trackback

The director of numerous episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, including “The City on the Edge of Forever,” died this week. According to his Desert Sun obituary, Joseph Pevney died peacefully in his home in Palm Desert, California, surrounded by his wife and family members. He was 96 years old.

Impact on Trek
In addition to “The City on the Edge of Forever,” Pevney has the distinction of directing a number of classic fan favorite TOS episodes, including “Amok Time” and “The Trouble with Tribbles.” With a total of fourteen episodes, he is tied with the late Marc Daniels for the most number of original Star Trek episodes directed. In addition to the episodes listed above, Pevney also directed “Arena,” “The Return of the Archons,” “The Devil in the Dark,” “A Taste of Armageddon,” “Catspaw,” “Friday’s Child,” “Wolf in the Fold,” “The Apple,” “The Deadly Years,” “Journey to Babel,” and “The Immunity Syndrome.”

In their book “Star Trek The Real Story,” TOS Producers Bob Justman and Herb Solow wrote of Pevney:

Joseph Pevney was an ex-actor turned director. Some former actors become good directors; some become hack directors. Pevney was the former, but more than just “good.”

Life and career
He was born in New York City and began his showbiz career as a boy soprano on the vaudeville circuit in 1924. He then turned to acting, and during the 1930s and 1940s, he acted in several Broadway productions. He then broke into film, acting in such film-noir classics as Body and Soul and Thieves’ Highway. He soon turned his attention to directing, first for motion pictures and later for television. His feature film directorial credits include such classics as the 1956 war drama Away All Boats, the 1957 romantic comedy Tammy and the Bachelor, and the Oscar-nominated drama Man of a Thousand Faces.

Star Trek was hardly the only show on which he left a mark. He directed many other popular television programs, including Wagon Train, Bewitched, The Munsters, The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible, The Virginian, Bonanza, Emergency!, Fantasy Island, The Rockford Files, and Trapper John, M.D.… just to name a few! In a directing career spanning some 35 years, Pevney helmed over 35 films and hundreds of television episodes.

A powerful scene directed by Joseph Pevney

More on Pevney
IMDb page
Memory Alpha article

Comments

1. Papa Jim - May 25, 2008

A terrible loss. My condolences to his family.

2. danpaine - May 25, 2008

Wow. He had an impressive resume. Some of the most impressive TOS episodes and that hardly scratches the surface. 96 years is a long, hopefully happy run. God Bless.

3. Greg Stamper - May 25, 2008

With Deepest Sympathy

4. CmdrR - May 25, 2008

Wow. Not a dud in the bunch. What a great contribution.

Thank you, Mr. Pevney. All the best to your family.

5. Kirk's Girdle - May 25, 2008

96. Can’t complain about that kind of mileage.

6. DesiluTrek - May 25, 2008

As a classic TV lover, “Directed by Joseph Pevney” has been one of those credits that whenever I see it, it has always made me say “awwwww” because of all his great Trek episodes. As noted above, he also directed episodes of my second-favorite series of all time, “The Fugitive” with David Janssen.

I’m saddened to learn of his passing, but glad to know he had such a good run, to 96.

7. Spockanella - May 25, 2008

Very sad, but what a legacy he left. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

8. Captain Hackett - May 25, 2008

Thanks for making some of the greatest TOS episodes ever and you will be missed. :(

9. Andy Patterson - May 25, 2008

Wow. He did some good ones.

10. Andy Patterson - May 25, 2008

Pevney evidently also directed the only curse work in an original Trek episodewith Kirk saying “Let’s get the hell out of here”…if you don’t count Scotty calling Mudd a jackass in an early episode. That’s a little bit of trivia I never hear anyone quote.

11. danpaine - May 25, 2008

#10 – Yeah, Andy. Good point, excellent trivia.

12. FranBro - May 25, 2008

RIP, Mr. Pevney. You left us with some great work and great memories.

d

13. David P - May 25, 2008

he directed some great episodes

14. Tanner Waterbury - May 25, 2008

Rest in peace, Joseph Pevney, you were an amazingly talented person

15. I Am Morg Not Eymorg - May 25, 2008

Thanks for the great entertainment , Mr. Pevney. Rest well.

16. warptrek - May 25, 2008

He seemed to always get the best performances out of the cast as witnessed by the above clip. That scene was just plain riveting. THAT is great directing.

17. Timncc1701 - May 25, 2008

Those were some of my favorite episodes. Thanks for bringing happiness to so many. May you enjoy your reward.

18. Green-Blooded-Bastard - May 25, 2008

Died at 96 peacefully and surrounded by loved ones. What a wonderful way to go, add to the fact that for a living, he brought joy to people through his work as an actor and a director. God bless that guy, you know? Talk about good Karma.

19. max - May 25, 2008

96! Wow! What a life he must have had!

He directed most of my favorites. Clearly he’s one of the talents that played a big part in making the show so memorable.

20. demon barber of starfleet - May 26, 2008

He directed pretty much all of the best episodes.

Rest in peace.

21. SirMartman - May 26, 2008

Its people like Joseph Pevney that made Star Trek what it is today

all his hard work really paid off,

now he gets to sit in the clouds and watch,,

cheers

22. Iowagirl - May 26, 2008

All those wonderful episodes – one of the last miracle workers has left us with an unforgettable creation.

23. Page 2 | /Film - May 26, 2008

[...] Joseph Pevney, the director of numerous episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, including “The City on the Edge of Forever,” died this week. [trekmovie] [...]

24. Anthony Thompson - May 26, 2008

23.
We know that already.

A great script helps. But Joseph Pevney helped translate those words into magic.

25. Charles Trotter - May 26, 2008

Interestingly, until /Film.com posted it, TrekMovie.com was the only actual news source reporting Pevney’s death. There still hasn’t been any word from “official” news sources like Variety or the LA Times. I would think a director of his stature would get at least some media attention.

26. MrRegular - May 26, 2008

My condolences to the family.
Joseph Pevney’s work on the City on the Edge of Forever will remain with us for decades to come, to enjoy again and again. It’s a monument to a great director.

27. Jay Pevney - May 26, 2008

Hi- Just wondering who the picture is next to the story on Dad. My family
thanks you for the wonderful comments.

28. Charles Trotter - May 26, 2008

#27 Jay Pevney

You mean… that’s not Joseph Pevney? :( If it is not we will get this matter cleared up as soon as possible.

My sincerest condolences to you and your family. Your father was one of the all-time greats.

29. Jay Pevney - May 26, 2008

Thanks, No that’s not my Dad. There’s a wonderful picture of him in one of the Star Trek books taken on location at Vasquez Rocks that he liked alot.

30. Redjac - May 26, 2008

Great work from a great Trek director! They don’t make em like that anymore.

My condolences to his surviving family…

31. Jay Pevney - May 26, 2008

Amazing, you folks are fast That’s Dad from his acting days before directing, either Nocturne or Thieves Highway. Thanks for taking care of that.

32. Duane - May 26, 2008

As a kid, I knew that when I saw an awesome Star Trek episode, it was very likely to hae been directed by Mr. Pevney. I always looked for his name among the credits. Even though I was 9 years old and I had no idea who he was or what a director really did, it truly seemed as if he could do no wrong. I read his wiki article last year and was amazed and happy to learn that, at that time, he was still alive. He will be missed.

33. Thomas Jensen - May 26, 2008

I’m glad he was with his family and lived a long life. What a wonderful legacy he left behind. I so enjoy all the episodes he directed, he was no small part of the original series with his artistry. I echo the sentiments of so many here. My thanks to him for his contribution to the original Star Trek.

My condolences to his family.

34. Charles Trotter - May 26, 2008

#31 Jay Pevney — We are nothing if not speedy. :) It would be great if we could find that Vasquez Rocks image online. I think I have the book with that photo (I’m sure I’ve seen the photo somewhere) and if I had a scanner (or even a digital camera) I would be hunting it down right now to put it online. Alas… :(

I’m glad we were able to find an image of your father, though. We like to get these things right, now and then. :)

By the way — I feel kind of bad asking this — but can you confirm the date on which your father died? There are sites which put the date as May 18th, but I’ve seen nothing official.

Again, my deepest condolences to you and your’s.

35. Jan Pevney-Holt - May 26, 2008

Thank you for all the beautiful commens about my Dad, and for correcting the photo error so quickly.

36. Mr. Bob Dobalina - May 26, 2008

He was a great director of many of my favorite shows from my favorite era of television. And what a legacy! His work will continue to entertain for years and years to come! My thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones, may he rest in peace.

37. Commodore Lurker - May 26, 2008

To the Pevney family: Your father is much beloved among millions of Star Trek fans. His contribution to Star Trek is as great as any of the core creator-visionaries who blessed our lives with something that we fans cannot live without. I, for one, cannot imagine my life without Star Trek in it. The episodes Joseph Pevney directed form the foundation that we call the Star Trek ‘Canon’. Your father’s work touched us in ways and with a depth of impact that my humble words cannot express. We all miss him.

38. DesiluTrek - May 26, 2008

All my best to the Pevney family at this difficult time. It doesn’t get any easier no matter how old your loved ones are. I’m glad it helps a little that we Trek fans truly appreciate his contributions. When you feel up to it, I would enjoy hearing about any of your dad’s recollections of working on Star Trek. He was a major figure who never sought to cash in on his connection, so we never really heard much from him about doing the show.

The Vasquez Rocks picture Mr. Pevney’s son mentioned is in the second photo section of “The Making of Star Trek.” It likely was taken during the filming of “Friday’s Child,” since that’s when several other location pics in that photo section were taken.

39. JKP - May 26, 2008

Those were some great episodes. A great talent and a great legacy. Will be missed.

40. CanuckLou - May 26, 2008

My condolences to the Pevney family. He left an amazing body of work for many to enjoy.

41. Tango - May 26, 2008

My condolences as well. He must have had a lot of grand kids and great grand kits.

42. Charles Trotter - May 26, 2008

#41 Tango — He is survived by two grandchildren (Ryan and Amber) and three great-grandchildren.

43. Doug - May 27, 2008

I am sad. The likes of directors Joseph Pevney and Marc Daniels was synonomous with the words ‘quality’ and ‘empathy.’ … it seems so few real gentlemen of their calibre exist in Hollywood these days.

The episodes that Mr. Pevney directed are amongst my favorites (of any TV show). I always delighted when I read his name in the credits of any of the greatest TV shows.

My condolences to his family.

44. Chris H - May 27, 2008

I’m not sad. 96? Sheesh! What a life and career!

45. SciFi Surplus » SciFi Surplus Podcast #043 Council - May 27, 2008

[...] John – Classic Star Trek director Joseph Pevney dead at 96 Source [...]

46. capt mike - May 27, 2008

Wow. 96 now thas was a heck of a run. HE was a class act through and theough and one of the men who made star trek great and made a group of actors realy shine with there talent. he took them and molded them and directed them into our harts and we will forever be gratefull to this class act. If jj abrams can be as half as good as you were then star trek will be just fine. may you rest in peace mr pevney. you will be missed.

47. Dave Weisbart - May 28, 2008

Jay, Sorry to hear about your dad. Please drop me an email.

48. Dave Weisbart - May 28, 2008

Sorry…link didn’t go through. davew@prestigeclockrepair.com

49. Holger - May 28, 2008

My condolences to Mr. Pevneys family. He was a great director.

50. Balock - May 28, 2008

Yes, a great name eched into the the making of TOS. There’s a great full page shot of him directing in “The Making of Star Trek”…

51. Lynne Mazer - May 29, 2008

So sorry to hear of the passing of your father. I am not sure if any of you would remember me, but I went to school & camp with Joel. Actually Joel was probably my first boyfriend. I lived near you in Encino. I would love to hear from Joel and know what he has been up to these last few decades.
Again may I say how sorry I feel about your loss, but may your Dads memory be great confort to all of you.

Lynne Eisen (now Mazer)

52. Ray Pollard - May 29, 2008

Sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. I was a HS friend of Jeff (we played in a band together, fished in the waterways around your house and went to Catalina a few times on the Jo Mi). One of my memories of your Dad was on one trip to Catalina when we had engine trouble and had a rough time getting to the island. Your Dad had Jeff and I steer the boat while he tried to get the engine that had been damaged restarted to no avail. We called a mayday to the coast guard and their reply was to make it close enough to Avalon for the harbor master to help us get in. We did make it but I have to admit Jef and I were a little scared but your Dad was calm and strong and made sure we stayed on course (not easy with only one engine which made us keep heading off course). I learned to use a compass that day and we even got to fly back home on the seaplane afterwards. I also remember seeing all the pictures, posters and cast items from the movies at your house and never thinking you guys were anything other than normal average people…never a hint of who your Dad or Mom were…no ego at all…You had a special family and I’m glad I had the opportunity to know you guys. Hope Jeff is doing good.

53. Morre diretor da Série Clássica « Suserania’s Weblog - May 30, 2008

[...] TrekMovie e [...]

54. Lynne Eisen - September 21, 2008

******Joel, If you find this web page I have been trying to locate you. I have spoken to Jan but she does not know your where abouts. It’s been a very long time, but I would like to catch up if al all possible. Please respond ****

Lynne Eisen

55. Lynne Eisen - September 21, 2008

oops…..Joel, I think I forgot to give you a way to contact me, and I do want to hear from you. Lynne@aisciences.com

56. Wayne - January 12, 2009

Just watched The Original Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” at cbs.com. For me, this is SciFi at its best and stands as one of the best episodes produced by that landmark series. It is a perfect balance of adventure, humor, wit and poignancy. It clearly demonstrates that, in the right hands, it doesn’t necessarily require 21st century special effects to tell a memorable story about the 23rd. Thank you Mr. Pevney for that unforgettable little gem and the many other stories you helmed. You’ve left behind a wonderful legacy for future generations to enjoy.

57. AJ - January 12, 2009

He made Star Trek into iconic television. He’ll be missed, but his work will live on to entertain for many generations. “City” and “Amok Time” are Star Trek at its best.

My best to the family in this tough time.

58. Margie (Margaret Morris Palombi) - April 21, 2009

Great body of work!

Sorry for your family’s loss.

59. Nicole N. Smith - October 31, 2009

He lived a long, full life. Also, sorry about your loss. Jay, I went to Marina with you. Remember the loss of your mother. Take care.

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