Family & Companions
A director who also wrote, produced, and composed music, Ernie Pintoff won an Oscar for his animated short film "The Critic." Pintoff was a jazz trumpeter who also taught painting at Michigan State University. He wrote and directed the short animated film "Flebus" in 1957 and then collaborated with comedian Carl Reiner on the animated short "The Violinist" in 1959, a film which earned a British BAFTA nomination. After two other shorts, he directed a story written and voiced by humorist Mel Brooks. "The Critic" earned the pair the 1964 Oscar. Subsequently, he moved into television and feature films, directing documentaries for the show "NBC Experiment in Television," the comedy "Dynamite Chicken," and the thriller "Who Killed Mary Whats'ername." For the rest of the 1970s he directed more conventional network TV fare, like the mystery show "Hawaii Five-O" and "The Bionic Woman." In the 1980s, he directed several episodes of the primetime soap "Knots Landing," and for his final assignment, directed a 1985 episode of the adventure show "MacGyver."