Richard L. Bare

Active - 1939 - 1973  |   Born - Aug 12, 1913 in Modesto, California  |   Died - Mar 28, 2015   |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American writer/director Richard L. Bare was running a small movie theatre in Carmel, California in the 1930s when he decided to become a moviemaker himself. He wrote the script for a one-reel comic documentary called So You Want to Quit Smoking and submitted it to MGM short subject producer Pete Smith; Smith turned it down, but Bare revived the project while teaching at USC. With the help of college technicians and with Hollywood bit player George O'Hanlon in the leading role, Bare produced So You Want to Quit Smoking independently, selling the finished product to Warner Bros. in 1942. After wartime service, Bare was invited by Warners to produce and direct a series of shorts starring O'Hanlon, which evolved into the Joe McDoakes series (aka Behind the Eight Ball). While the series successfully sailed along (it lasted until 1956), Bare was given his first feature film assignment at Warners, Smart Girls Don't Talk (1948). Other second-echelon features followed, but it was on TV that Bare truly distinguished himself by directing first-rate episodes of such series as The Twilight Zone; Bare's 1959 Zone installment "Third from the Sun" is today considered a masterpiece of elaborate camerawork and compact storytelling. In 1965, Bare began a six-year stint on the TV sitcom Green Acres, directing all but one of the series' 168 episodes. And in 1971, Richard L. Bare wrote one of the best-ever books on the technical aspects of moviemaking, 1971's The Film Director. Amidst the book's many incisive and informative comments, Bare predicted that Hollywood would hear a lot from two novice filmmakers: George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. Bare died in 2015, at age 101.

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