M*A*S*H director Rafkin dies

Alan Rafkin, who directed some of television's most memorable sitcoms - including M*A*S*H - died Monday at UCLA Medical Center of heart disease, according to press reports. He was 73.

Along with M*A*S*H, Rafkin's directorial credits included The Andy Griffith Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. He earned an Emmy in 1982 for directing in a comedy series for an episode of
One Day at a Time and was nominated in 1988 for It's Garry Shandling's Show. He also won a cable ACE Award for directing the Shandling series for Showtime. The self-avowed curmudgeon summed up his years in his 1998 memoir, Cue the Bunny on the Rainbow: Tales from TV's Most Prolific Sitcom Director. Rafkin coined the unusual title from one of his more unusual duties - to cue the puppeteer handling a bunny on a prop rainbow - in an early job as stage manager for the children's television program Captain Kangaroo.

According to Freedman, Rafkin would grouse at the time, "Here I am, an Army veteran just back from the Korean War and my big job orders are, 'Cue the bunny on the rainbow'!"