Gerd Oswald

Active - 1952 - 1975  |   Born - Jun 9, 1916 in Berlin, Germany  |   Died - May 22, 1980 in California  |   Genres - Science Fiction, Western, Drama, Mystery

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Berlin-born Gerd Oswald was the son of celebrated German stage and film director Richard Oswald. Gerd began his own career as a child actor and production assistant, continuing in the latter capacity when he emigrated to America with his family in 1938. Like many refugees, the young Oswald was not exactly welcomed with open arms into the Hollywood mainstream. He had to pay his dues (and earn his union membership) as an assistant director for such poverty-row concerns as Monogram Pictures. From there, Oswald was hired as a production manager and associate producer for 20th Century-Fox. Utilizing Fox facilities, but releasing through United Artists, Oswald directed his first picture, A Kiss Before Dying, in 1955. While occasionally handed a big-budget item like Bob Hope's Paris Holiday (1957), Oswald found himself back where he started directorially in the B-picture pool. Some of these low-budgeters, notably Screaming Mimi, had isolated moments that transcended their monetary deficiencies, but others, like Agent for HARM (1966) and Bunny O'Hare (1971), were trivialities that any director could have handled. Gerd Oswald's best and most creative opportunities came on television sci-fi/fantasy series. Though he never directed a Twilight Zone as has frequently been claimed, Oswald was responsible for the first-season Star Trek episode "The Conscience of the King;" and he was a mainstay on The Outer Limits (1963-64) directing such top-rank installments as "OBIT," "Corpus Earthling," "It Crawled out of the Woodwork," "The Form of Things Unknown," and, best of all, "Soldier."

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