Ron Satlof, Director of Eight Perry Mason Telefilms, Dies at 79

Courtesy David Satlof
Ron Satlof

An Oscar nominee, he also worked on 'Mean Streets,' 'McCloud,' 'Diagnosis Murder' and 'The Amazing Spider-Man' during his career.

Ron Satlof, a prolific TV director and producer who helmed eight Perry Mason telefilms and worked on other crime shows including McCloud, Quincy M.E. and Diagnosis Murder, has died. He was 79. 

Satlof died July 2 at his home in St. Petersburg, Florida, his family announced.

Early in his career, Satlof received an Oscar nomination for producing (and directing) a 23-minute animated short film, Frog Story (1972), and served as second assistant director on two acclaimed 1973 releases: Don Siegel's Charley Varrick and Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets (he also had a bit part in the latter).

Satlof helmed episodes of other series including Hawaii Five-OCharlie's AngelsThe A-TeamMagnum, P.I.ZorroJake and the FatmanDynastyThe Amazing Spider-ManHardcastle and McCormick and Silk Stalkings, and produced for some of those shows as well as for The Fall Guy and Get Christie Love!

Satlof directed Perry Mason Returns, which brought back series stars Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale to the airwaves in 1985, then called the shots on The Case of the Notorious Nun and The Case of the Shooting Star in 1986; The Case of the Lost Love and The Case of the Murdered Madam in 1987; The Case of the Lady in the Lake in 1988; The Case of the Silenced Singer in 1990; and The Case of the Maligned Mobster in 1991.

Born in New York City, Satlof received a bachelor's degree from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama. After starring in plays at the Vermont Shakespeare Festival in Burlington and releasing an album of folk songs, he moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960s. 

In retirement in Florida, Satlof continued to produce and direct, working on the 2008 film Misconceptions and the reality series The Condo Cops. He also served as an advisory board member of the Gasparilla Film Festival in Tampa Bay and taught cinematography at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. 

Survivors also include his wife, Magda; daughter Leira; brother David; and nephew Mark, a publicist at Shore Fire Media. A memorial service is being planned.