Sheldon Leonard Biography (1907-1997)

Born Sheldon Bershad, February 22, 1907, in New York, NY; died January 10, 1997, in Beverly Hills, CA. Actor, producer, and director. Leonard went from playing tough, underworld types in movies to producing television comedies. Educated at Syracuse University, he had a brief stage career with Kiss the BoysGoodbye in 1938 then moved to Hollywood to act in movies. He landed the roleof Nick the bartender in 1946's It's a Wonderful Life and had two well-knowngangster roles in Guys and Dolls (1955) and Pocketful of Miracles (1961). Other movie credits include Tortilla Flat (1942), Here Come the Nelsons (1952),and Stop, You're Killing Me (1953). Then Leonard switched to television and worked behind the camera. He produced The Dick Van Dyke Show from 1961 to 1966and (with Danny Thomas) directed, wrote, and produced The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, and The Danny Thomas Show. In the latter show, he also had a recurring role as Thomas' agent. Leonard won two Emmy Awards for directing TheDanny Thomas Show. In 1965, he produced the adventure comedy I Spy, starringBill Cosby and Robert Culp, and a 1993 CBS reunion movie of the show, I Spy Returns. Through his career, Leonard won five Emmy Awards and served on the national board of the Directors Guild for thirty-nine years. He was inducted into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame in 1992.

actor, producer, director
Birth Details
February 22, 1907
New York, New York, United States
Death Details
January 10, 1997
Beverly Hills, California, United States

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