Walter E. Grauman, Director on 'Murder, She Wrote,' Dies at 93

The prolific TV helmer also did the pilot episodes for two Quinn Martin productions: 'The Fugitive' and 'The Streets of San Francisco.'

Walter E. Grauman, who directed more than 50 episodes of Angela Lansbury’s Murder, She Wrote and helmed the pilots for The Fugitive and The Streets of San Francisco, has died. He was 93.

Grauman, who also helmed multiple episodes of the crime shows Barnaby Jones and The Untouchables during his five-decade career, died Friday of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, a family spokesman said.

Grauman also worked on such shows as Peter Gunn, Naked City, The Twilight Zone, Route 66, Honey West, The F.B.I. and Columbo. By one estimate, he did 275 half-four and one-hour dramatic programs, working often with producer Quinn Martin.

Grauman called the shots for 1963’s “Fear in a Desert City,” the first episode of ABC’s The Fugitive, which starred David Janssen as a man on the run after being falsely convicted of his wife’s murder. And he did the 1972 pilot for The Streets of San Francisco, the ABC cop show starring Karl Malden and Michael Douglas.

Grauman also directed the 1957 horror film The Disembodied, starring Paul Burke; Lady in a Cage (1964), starring Olivia de Havilland and James Caan; A Rage to Live (1965), with Suzanne Pleshette; and the war dramas 633 Squadron (1964) and The Last Escape (1970).

Grauman created the Spotlight Awards at the Los Angeles Music Center more than 25 years ago.

A native of Milwaukee, Grauman attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of Arizona before enlisting in the Army Air Corps as a bomber pilot during World War II. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying 56 combat missions over Europe.  

Survivors include his wife Peggy, daughter Amy, son Larry and grandchildren Brian, Lily, Steven and Michael.

Grauman was a relative of Sid Grauman, who built The Chinese and Egyptian movie theaters in Hollywood.

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