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Jack Shea dies, leaves legacy of TV directing and Catholic values

Jack Shea dies: A TV sitcom director, Jack Shea and his wife were co-founders of Catholics In Media Associates. Shea promoted racial diversity, and directed 'The Jeffersons,' 'Silver Spoons,' and other TV shows. 

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Jack Shea during a 2002 interview about the history of the Directors Guild of America.

Courtsey Directors Guild of America

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There's no question that Jack Shea left his mark on the television industry.

But his influence went beyond being a successful Hollywood director of many popular TV shows, especially sitcoms. He was also a three-time president of the Directors Guild of America, promoting racial and gender equity. Early in his career, he helped organize the Radio & Television Directors Guild in New York.

“Jack Shea occupied a truly unique position in the history of the modern DGA.  As the West Coast president of the Radio & Television Directors Guild in 1960, he was at the table sitting across from Frank Capra when the two guilds representing television and theatrical directors merged to form the modern Directors Guild of America,” said Taylor Hackford in a statement.  “Beloved by his fellow directors, the DGA membership and the DGA staff, he always had a ready smile and keen interest in everyone he encountered.  Jack enjoyed life and shared it with everyone around him; as a leader, his gentle manner and the kindest of hearts will be the things we miss the most.”

As a Roman Catholic, Jack Shea's values were expressed in his work and his life. Shea and his screenwriter wife, Patti, were founding members of Catholics In Media Associates.

Each Spring, the group honors films and TV shows expressing spiritual values. The 2013 winners included "The Bible" miniseries on The History Channel, the Denzel Washington film, "Flight," and the TV show "Bones."

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