Born May (one source says March) 20, 1942, in Flushing, NY; died of an aorticaneurysm, October 6, 1996, in Los Angeles, CA. Actor and director. Perhaps best known for his role as Donald Hollinger from 1966 to 1971 in the pioneering situation comedy That Girl (starring Marlo Thomas), Bessell was most recently working on a film version of the television show Bewitched with director Penny Marshall. In the 1980s Bessell began directing and won an Emmy Award forbest comedy variety series for The Tracy Ullman Show, for which he served asboth producer and director. Bessell began his career with roles in television situation comedies and continued to appear in this capacity for several years. His early credits include roles in the comedy shows Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.(1966) and It's a Man's World (1962-63). He eventually landed a regular roleon the long-running series That Girl, playing Thomas's boyfriend. Bessell also appeared as Joe Warner on episodes of The Mary Tyler Moor Show, another progressive situation comedy starring an independent career woman. He got his first experience as a director with That Girl, for which he periodically directed episodes. His only stage appearance was as George in a Brooks Atkinson Theatre production of Same Time, Next Year.