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James Burrows
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James Burrows

James Burrows is one of television's most respected and honored creative talents. Over his distinguished career, Burrows has been the recipient of ten Emmys, four Directors Guild of America Awards and the 1996 American Comedy Awards' Creative Achievement Award. He recently received his 20th nomination for a Director's Guild of America Award. He has the honor of being the most nominated director in the history of television at the Guild.

Burrows' success as the director of television pilots is legendary. He has just completed another successful pilot season and is embarking on his seventh season with the NBC hit series, Will & Grace. The upcoming fall schedule will feature two shows - Two and a Half Men, and Will & Grace – whose pilot episodes Burrows directed. Will & Grace is produced by his company, 3 Sisters Entertainment.

Burrows is probably best known as co-creator, executive producer and director of the critically acclaimed series, Cheers. The hit show, which aired for 11 seasons, is the most nominated series in the Television Academy's history and is in third place for most Emmys received. Burrows has also received numerous awards for his work on Frasier, Friends, Wings, Night Court, Taxi, and Dear John. For the first time in 25 years, he returned to the stage in the spring of 1998 to direct the highly acclaimed Man Who Came To Dinner at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, starring John Mahoney.

Burrows learned his trade from the very best, the legendary writer/director Abe Burrows, whose noted career included such classics as Guys and Dolls, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Cactus Flower.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in New York, Burrows graduated from Oberlin College and continued his education at Yale, where he earned a master's degree in fine arts. Burrows relocated to Hollywood to work as a dialogue coach for O.K. Crackerby!, a short-lived television series starring Burl Ives. When the show ended, he returned to New York and initially worked as a stage manager before directing several off-Broadway shows, such as The Castro Complex, and stock productions of The Odd Couple and Never Too Late.

In 1974, Burrows moved back to the West Coast when he was invited to visit MTM Productions in Los Angeles and offered a job directing an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Mr. Burrows and his wife, Debbie, reside in Los Angeles and between them they have a quartet of daughters.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

James Burrows Facts

OccupationDirector, Producer
BirthdayDecember 30, 1940 (82)
BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA

Selected Filmography

Not available.