Wednesday, September 07, 2011

On the passing of Charles Dubin

So sorry to hear that Charles Dubin has died. He was 92. Charles directed 44 episodes of MASH, including many that my partner David Isaacs and I wrote. Charles directed our POINT OF VIEW episode. We get a lot of kudos for that but truthfully the real praise goes to Charles and his expert direction. Remember also that this was in the days before hand-held cameras. Charles had to be inventive technically as well as visually. And what many people overlook is that the performances were so good. That too was all Charlie. Film actors are trained to never look at the camera. Now suddenly they had to stare straight into it. That can be very self- conscious. Through Charlie’s guidance and loving support he coaxed wonderfully subtle performances from every member of the cast. He got every bit of emotion out of the episode. Like I said, he made that show.

Charles was the consummate gentleman. Always soft-spoken and unflappable. You hear of actors claiming someone is an “actor’s director” or writers saying someone is a “writer’s director”. Charles Dubin was one of the few who was truly both.

You’ll probably be reading tributes over the next few days. Believe me, they’ll all be genuine.

His credits go way back to the ‘50s. Although it’s a name you might not know, Charles Dubin has had as large an imprint on the television industry as anyone who ever worked in it.

And he was such a gentleman!

The last time I saw Charles was in November. We were both panelists at a MASH seminar. Even in his 90’s he was sharp and funny and I remember thinking, “what an absolute treasure”.  I kept hoping he would get all the questions because I so loved hearing his answers. 

Charles Dubin was a “mensch’s director”. May his work be seen for another 92 years.

9 comments:

Frank said...

Nice tribute Ken.

Brian said...

Point of view was on just yesterday!

J S Swanson said...

I'll bet that I'm not the only one who's unaware of this man's contribution to our collective memory. And I'm quite ashamed.
Still -- thanks, Ken, for educating me on several levels.
Alas, Mr Dubin, I never knew ya ...
RIP, Sir ...

Kris from DM said...

Thanks Ken, I figured you would have some input on this man. It's nice to hear that from someone who worked with him.

Sounds like we just lost another great person.

Michael said...

Great tribute, and a reminder that MASH was a great show because it was the sum of its parts.

Anonymous said...

"As a director, I try to do what the writers had in mind. What did the writers want the audience to know and how do I do that with the picture, the sound effects, the props, the costumes. I think that anything that’s seen on that screen should be from the director and writer's point of view. That’s I think the best way I can put it."

http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/charles-dubin

Robert Mandell said...

It was ever a pleasure to work with Chalie Dubin in the 1950's on the Omnibus telecasts as special music assistant for all the Leonard Bernstein specials and as Agnes de Mille's conductor for her two specials on Ballet and Choreography. Charlie was ever the professional and engaging in handling artists of great temperament. Robert Mandell, UK

Lori Aycock said...

I knew Charlie from the Brentwood dog park where we crowned him the Mayor. What a great Man. You will be greatly missed Charlie by everyone who had the honor of knowing you!! Love, Lori

Charles Dubin said...

That's my name and dad's,also.I'm an Army veteran.The service with MASH is impressive if you have the referrals and rank.