David Butler was a pioneer moviemaker who rose through the ranks from a bit actor in silent pictures to one of the premier Hollywood directors of musicals and dramas.
Butler directed 65 films and is credited with having boosted the career of Shirley Temple, who made some of her best movies under his direction. They included "The Little Colonel," "Captain January," "The Littlest Rebel" and "Bright Eyes."
His other films included "Road to Morocco," "My Wild Irish Rose," "It's a Great Feeling," "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady," "Look for the Silver Lining," "Tea for Two," "Lullaby of Broadway," "April in Paris," "By the Light of the Silvery Moon," "Sunny Side Up" and "Just Imagine."
He also directed much of the "Leave It to Beaver" and "Wagon Train" television series.
Butler was also active in charity work and for more than 27 years, he was the chairman of the Educational and Benevolent Foundation of the Screen Directors Guild.
For much of his life he owned and raced horses and he was one of the founding directors of the Western Harness Racing Assn., which organized harness racing events at Hollywood Park.
Butler died at age 84 on June 14, 1979, of a heart ailment at Arcadia Methodist Hospital, a few weeks after becoming ill while working on location as a consultant on the remake of one of his old films, "Little Miss Marker."
|1976||Best Adapted Screenplay||Voyage of the Damned||Nomination*|