Joseph Pevney: American actor and director (1911 - 2008) | Biography
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Joseph Pevney
American actor and director

Joseph Pevney

Joseph Pevney
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor and director
Was Actor Film director Screenwriter Film producer
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 15 September 1911, New York City
Death 18 May 2008, Palm Desert (aged 96 years)
Spouse: Mitzi Green
The details (from wikipedia)


Joseph Pevney (September 15, 1911 – May 18, 2008) was an American film and television director.


The son of a Jewish watchmaker, Pevney made his debut in vaudeville as a boy soprano in 1924. Although he hated vaudeville, he loved the theatre and developed a career as a stage actor, appearing in such plays as Home of the Brave, The World We Make, Key Largo, Golden Boy and Nature Son. A short career as a film actor followed, his most significant appearance being in the classic boxing film Body and Soul (1947), in which he played the role of Shorty Pulaski. Before turning to film, he served in the Signal Corps in World War II, then did more time on stage.

Subsequently Pevney became a prolific film and television director, with a directing career that spanned over 80 productions from 1950 to 1984. Among his films were Female on the Beach (1955) with Joan Crawford and Jeff Chandler, Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) with Debbie Reynolds and Leslie Nielsen, Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) with James Cagney as Lon Chaney, The Crowded Sky (1960), and Westerns such as The Plunderers (1960).

Pevney also directed multiple episodes of noted television series, including Bonanza, Star Trek, The Paper Chase, and Trapper John, M.D.. He tied with Marc Daniels for directing the largest number of original Star Trek episodes, including "The Devil in the Dark, "Arena", "The City on the Edge of Forever", "Amok Time", "Journey to Babel", and "The Trouble With Tribbles". Star Trek NBC executive Herb Solow and executive co-producer Robert Justman write, in their 1996 book Star Trek The Real Story, of Pevney:

Joseph Pevney was an ex-actor turned director. Some former actors become good directors; some become hack directors. Pevney was the former, but more than just "good."

He continued directing TV shows during the 1970s and 1980s. The last he stayed with was Trapper John M.D. running between 1979 and 1986, followed by retirement.

He died in 2008, and is survived by his third wife and four children from his first marriage with actress Mitzi Green.

Selected filmography

as Actor:

  • Nocturne (1946)
  • Body and Soul (1947)
  • The Street with No Name (1948)
  • Thieves' Highway (1949)

as Director:

  • Shakedown (1950)
  • Undercover Girl (1950)
  • The Iron Man (1951)
  • The Lady from Texas (1951)
  • Meet Danny Wilson (1951)
  • The Strange Door (1951)
  • Air Cadet (1951)
  • Flesh and Fury (1952)
  • Because of You (1952)
  • Just Across the Street (1952)
  • Desert Legion (1953)
  • Back to God's Country (1953)
  • It Happens Every Thursday (1953)
  • Yankee Pasha (1954)
  • Playgirl (1954)
  • 3 Ring Circus (1954)
  • Six Bridges to Cross (1955)
  • Foxfire (1955)
  • Female on the Beach (1955)
  • Away All Boats (1956)
  • Congo Crossing (1956)
  • Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)
  • The Midnight Story (1957)
  • Istanbul (1957)
  • Tammy and the Bachelor (1957)
  • Torpedo Run (1958)
  • Twilight for the Gods (1958)
  • Cash McCall (1959)
  • The Crowded Sky (1960)
  • The Plunderers (1960)
  • Portrait of a Mobster (1961)
  • The Night of the Grizzly (1966)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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