Born into a show business family, Burt Kennedy was but a tot when he joined his parents' vaudeville dancing troupe. After serving with distinction as a Naval Officer in World War II, Kennedy turned to writing for radio. His particular specialty was western shows, particularly westerns with a sturdy inner lining of comedy and satire. He curbed his comic tendencies in the 1950s when he became a principal scripter for the terse, rugged Budd Boetticher-directed Randolph Scott westerns. Graduating to directing himself with 1961's The Canadians, Kennedy spent several years in series television, again working primarily in westerns. He returned to theatrical features as writer/director of the 1964 Buddy Ebsen vehicle Mail Order Bride, then scored a box-office hit with his tongue-in-cheek rodeo saga The Rounders (1965). While auterists prefer the violent allegory of Kennedy's Welcome to Hard Times (1967), the director enjoyed more financial success with his comedy westerns Support Your Local Sheriff (1968) and Support Your Local Gunfighter (1970). As westerns gradually went out of fashion in Hollywood, Kennedy shifted his base of operations to television. While he still contributed to the big screen from time to time (as director of Suburban Commando and co-writer of Clint Eastwood's White Hunter, Black Heart, among other projects), Burt Kennedy has been most prolific in the last two decades on the small screen, directing such made-for-TVers as Shootout in a One Dog Town (1974), Sidekicks (1974), Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid (1978), Down the Long Hills (1987),The Alamo: 13 Days of Glory (1987), Where the Hell's That Gold (1988), and both of the Wild Wild West "reunion" films of the early 1980s.