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Katy Garretson

Adjunct Associate Professor

Affiliated Divisions:

Division of Film & Television Production

Katy Garretson has been an award-winning DGA Director and Assistant Director for over 30 years, the last twenty+ of which mainly as a director of situation comedies. 

In 2012, Katy was the recipient of the Frank Capra Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America (DGA). At that time, there had been only 25 recipients of this award in the history of the guild. She was the fourth woman to receive this honor.

Katy was nominated for a DGA Award for Outstanding Comedy Direction for her debut episode and several of her guest stars have since been nominated for and/or received Emmy Awards. Along the way, she has also been an active member of the DGA – having served as an Associate National Board member, on numerous committees including her current commitment to the Directors’ Council Ethics Committee. During her years as an Assistant Director, Katy was elected Chair of the AD/UPM Council for three terms, the last two terms by unanimous acclamation. 

A decades-long member of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Katy's directing credits include TWO BROKE GIRLS, FRASIER, THE COOL KIDS, FULLER HOUSE, THE ODD COUPLE, YOUNG & HUNGRY, REBA, GEORGE LOPEZ, GIRLFRIENDS, BROKE, CAROL’S SECOND ACT, the new PUNKY BREWSTER reboot, a bunch of other shows you’ve likely never heard of and “hybrids” like TITUS and THE PITTS. She’s also directed several “tween” and children’s shows, including three seasons directing the PBS Kids’ show SID THE SCIENCE KID, an animated series with The Jim Hanson Company created using motion capture and digital puppetry.

Prior to directing, Katy was an award-winning Assistant Director, being a part of a DGA-nominated team seven times. She AD’d for directors ranging from Ridley Scott and Blake Edwards in features, to Jimmy Burrows in TV. Her AD credits include STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY – the last Star Trek film with the original cast; CLIFFORD, with Martin Short and Charles Grodin; THE SPECIALIST with Sylvester Stallone; almost twenty TV movies shot all over the country and numerous sitcoms, pilots, commercials and PSAs.

Katy is a producer, as well, and developed and produced a successful series of movies in Vancouver for The Hallmark Channel. Midway through the seventeenth movie of the series, however, her star was...involved in the college admissions scandal and, well... sadly, Hallmark decided to pull the plug on the movies. Katy also took a break from showbiz for four years to be the CEO/Executive Director of the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, an educational non-profit for inner-city kids.

Katy is also a long-time performer. In her teens, she was a state finalist in public speaking, her categories being Dramatic Interpretation, Persuasion and Expository Speaking. She continued her success in this type of performance throughout college, as an award-winning member of the USC Speech & Debate Team. One of her favorite things about being an AD on the hit TV series FRASIER was being asked to fill in for the uncast guest stars during the show's eleven-year run. Katy has been a frequent panelist, moderator and speaker at guild and industry events, and also recently hosted a hit podcast called MOJO GIRL MADNESS. Katy has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1995, and is not against using her SAG card again...

Katy loves teaching directing at her alma mater, the University of Southern California. Fight On.