Leslie H Martinson
The irony of television is that some of the names whose work has been most watched by audiences are recognized by name only within the industry. Consider Leslie H. Martinson, who began his career as a feature film script supervisor, then beginning in the early 1950's, put together a staggering four-decade run as a consistently employed TV director. During his first decade, he worked on all manner of programs including the Double R Ranch western "The Roy Rogers Show"; "The Mickey Rooney Show" with Mickey Rooney taking on the role of the young page Mickey Mulligan, eager to become a successful actor; and the government agent posed as a gun salesman western "Colt .45." From there, it was everything from the action western with fancily clad gamblers that is "Maverick" and the elite covert operations "Mission: Impossible" to the adventures of two motorcycle highway patrol officers in "CHiPS" and the desire granting "Fantasy Island." He finally put away the director's chair in 1989 after multiple episodes of the family series "Small Wonder." Another confirmation of Martinson's workmanlike flair is the fact that he barely graced the awards stage during his long career. A Golden Boot Award in 2006 in recognition of his contributions to TV westerns and a Golden Gryphon in the early 1970's from Italy's obscure Giffoni Film Festival are all the Boston native has to show for his many and varied small screen accomplishments.