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Barnet Kellman, Ph.D.

Robin Williams Endowed Chair in Comedy

Affiliated Divisions:

Division of Film & Television Production

Work Phone: 213.740.3317

Barnet Kellman made his feature film debut with the 20th Century Fox screen adaptation of Key Exchange starring Brooke Adams. He went on to direct Dolly Parton and James Woods in Straight Talk for Disney, and Stinkers for Sony. He is perhaps best known as one of the preeminent directors of television pilots. He won two Emmy Awards and a Directors Guild Award for his work on Murphy Brown. In addition to the pilot, he directed the first seventy-five episodes of Murphy, as well as the series’ final episode at the end of its ten-year run. His other pilots include the acclaimed Mad About You, starring Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser, the long-running series Suddenly Susan starring Brooke Shields, George Lopez in The George Lopez Show, My Boys on TBS, and he created the Gene Wilder series, Something Wilder. In all he is responsible for over thirty pilots, more than half of which have gone to series. For the past twenty years there has always been at least one (and as many as six) of his shows playing in first run, along with innumerable episodes in reruns. Barnet directed the movie Mary and Rhoda, which reunited Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper, and has directed episodes of E.R., Alias, Ally McBeal, Monk, Samantha Who? as well as many other distinguished series. Currently he is represented by episodes of The Middle on ABC. In all, he has received seven Emmy and three DGA nominations for his work on the small screen. Before arriving in Los Angeles, Kellman was a prominent director of American play premieres in New York City.  He was educated at Colgate University and the Yale School of Drama. He received his Ph.D. from Union Institute at Antioch.  A recipient of the prestigious Danforth Graduate Fellowship, and the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, he has traveled to observe the work of theatres throughout Europe and the United States. In addition to teaching at USC School of Cinematic Arts, he has been on the faculties of the American Film Institute, Columbia University Film School, CCNY, NYU, The Circle in the Square Acting School and has served as a resource person at the Sundance Institute June Lab, and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Playwrights Conference.