Teen Wolf director Rod Daniel dies, aged 73

Rod Daniel

by James White |
Published on

Rod Daniel, a man who specialised in family comedies and famously dismissed his work later in life, has died at the age of 73.

Born Rollin Augustus Daniel III in Nashville in 1942, Daniel initially considered a legal career, but after a short time in law school decided to take another path. After serving as a US Army lieutenant during the Vietnam War, he returned to the States and got a job producing and directing commercials. He worked first in his native Tennessee before moving to Atlanta and then Chicago and became friends with Hugh Wilson, who ran sitcoms. After attending the shooting of the pilot for WKRP In Cincinnati, he began to lobby for work on the show, and it helped to launch a directing career that took in shows such as Newhart, Magnum P.I., Caroline In The City and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Daniels made his film debut with 1985's Teen Wolf, which, though it was overshadowed by the other Michael J. Fox film that year (a little movie called Back To The Future), it was still a huge success. He went on to make movies such as Like Father Like Son, K-9, and Beethoven's Second. When asked by the Chicago Tribune about his career in 2011, he was unflinchingly honest: “It’s going to sound like a cop-out, but when I retired, I never once thought about it. I don’t rank with the greats. I made these (expletive) movies because I could, and because they paid me a great deal of money. Which is not to say I didn’t believe in what I did. But … I wouldn’t buy a ticket to any of my movies.”

He died on Saturday at home in Chicago and is survived by his wife Marti, children John and Lucas and one grandchild.

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