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‘Law & Order’ Director, DGA Official Ed Sherin Dies at 87

Variety logo Variety 5/5/2017 Dave McNary
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Ed Sherin, who received eight Emmy nominations and won one Emmy for directing and executive producing the series “Law & Order,”  died Thursday in Nova Scotia. He was 87.

In addition to his work on “Law & Order,”  Sherin also directed episodes of “Hill Street Blues,” “Moonlighting,”  “L.A. Law,” “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Medium.”

Sherin was also active in the Directors Guild of America, including three terms as National Vice President. He  was awarded the  awarded the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award in 2002 for service to the DGA and the DGA Honorary Life Member Award in 2012.

Sherin is survived by his wife, actress Jane Alexander, stepson, actor-director Jace Alexander, and three sons.

After attending Brown University, Sherin served in the armed forces during the Korean War. He began acting in theater and television, and eventually discovered that directing was his passion. He received a Drama Desk Award for “The Great White Hope” in 1969 and a Tony nomination for “Find Your Way Home” in 1974.

After his success in the theater, he was hired to direct the film “Valdez is Coming” with Burt Lancaster, followed by “Glory Boy” (aka My Old Man’s Place), starring Michael Moriarty. He also directed the TV movie “King Lear,” which led to other TV films such as “Lena: My 100 Children” and “The Father Clements Story.”

Sherin joined the DGA in 1969. He served on the DGA National Board for 15 years, oversaw the renovation of the DGA’s New York building and was instrumental in the establishment of DGA Honors. He was a member of the 2008 and 2011 Negotiating Committees as well as the DGA Task Force on Social Responsibility, the Directors Guild Foundation Board of Trustees and the DGA-Producer Pension and Health Plan.

“We are deeply saddened to learn today of the passing of Ed Sherin, whose membership in this Guild spanned more than five decades and whose service was immeasurable,” said DGA President Paris Barclay.

“Many of us worked with Ed for decades, either in Guild leadership or on ‘Law & Order’ the seminal New York-based television show he directed and produced for years. Ed loved the Guild, and though he was passionate about the East Coast and revitalizing New York production in particular, his tireless advocacy was always on behalf of all our members. Above all, Ed believed deeply that the more unified we were as a Guild, and the more we reached out and supported each other, the stronger we would become, and he was absolutely right,” said Barclay.

DGA National Executive Director Jay D. Roth said, “Ed loved life, loved people and he loved his Guild. He attacked problems with commitment and conviction. His leadership and energy not only reinvigorated the New York membership but also inspired many others to become involved in Guild service.”

DGA Secretary-Treasurer Michael Apted, who was DGA president when Sherin was national VP, said, “Our hearts are heavy today as we remember our dear friend and colleague Ed, whose legacy as a director, commitment to our Guild, and strength and fervor in his service were an example for us all.”

Memorial services are pending.

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