Wilmington, NC

Director Peter Werner Dies: Won Oscar, Guided TV's "Moonlighting"

Herbie J Pilato

Photo byuncsa.edu

According to journalist Ryan Gajewski, and TheHollywoodReporter.com, "Peter Werner, the Oscar-winning director known for his television work that spanned five decades and included helming episodes of such popular series as Moonlighting, A Different World, Justified and Law & Order: SVU, has died. He was 76."

As Gajewski continued to report, "Werner died Tuesday morning in Wilmington, North Carolina."

His younger brother, producer Tom Werner (The Cosby Show, Roseanne, That ’70s Show, The Conners), told The Hollywood Reporter. “He had a torn aorta that the doctors weren’t able to repair. So sudden,” he wrote in an email.

"As a student project while attending the American Film Institute," Gajewski noted, "...Peter Werner directed the 1976 short film In the Region of Ice, which was based on Joyce Carol Oates’ short story and starred Fionnula Flanagan. The project won the Oscar for live-action short film. His career kicked off from there, with Werner helming a 1977 episode of Family. The ABC drama counted Mike Nichols and Aaron Spelling as executive producers."

"Werner went on to direct a long list of TV projects across various genres," Gajewski documented. "Among the series for which he directed multiple episodes were Moonlighting, starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd; The Cosby Show spinoff A Different World; the Jennifer Love Hewitt procedural Ghost Whisperer; the Patricia Arquette-led Medium; Justified; Elementary; UnREAL; Blue Bloods; and Grimm."

As Gajewski also noted, Werner was born in New York on Jan. 17, 1947. He earned his B.A. from Dartmouth College and his M.A. from Antioch University before picking up his MFA from the AFI.

"Werner earned four Emmy nominations," Gajewski concluded, "...the first in 1986 for Moonlighting, followed by recognition for his work on the telefilms LBJ: The Early Years (1987), Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story (1995) and Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy (2006). He also received a Peabody Award for LBJ and three DGA Award noms during his career as well.

To read more about Peter Werner, click here.

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION, THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

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