Hal Cooper was a television director and producer known for his work on dozens of popular comedy series.
A native New Yorker, Cooper broke into show business as a child performer on the radio program Rainbow House. Intrigued by the behind-the-scenes production of the show, he studied the action in the control room and eventually became so adept that one day, when the regular director was sick and unable to work, 13-year-old Cooper handled the live broadcast.
He continued to work in production at a Detroit radio station while attending the University of Michigan. He earned his degree after serving in the Naval Reserve during World War II.
He broke into television in the late 1940s at the Dumont Network as a writer and producer of the children's shows Your Television Babysitter and The Magic Cottage. In the 1950s he began directing such daytime dramas as Search for Tomorrow.
After moving to Los Angeles he began working on many network series from the ’60s through the ’90s, and was one of the most sought-after directors for comedies. His credits included The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hazel, Gilligan's Island, I Spy, I Dream of Jeannie (54 episodes), That Girl (23 episodes), Mayberry R.F.D. (38 episodes), Love, American Style, The Courtship of Eddie's Father (27 episodes), All in the Family, The Odd Couple (11 episodes), The Brady Bunch (eight episodes), Sanford and Son, Maude (126 episodes), Love, Sidney (22 episodes), Gimme a Break! (81 episodes), Empty Nest (19 episodes), Dear John (67 episodes) and many others.
He received Emmy nominations for directing episodes of Maude in 1976 and 1978.
Cooper died April 11, 2014, in Beverly Hills. He was 91.