Robert Butler, director of the ‘Batman’ pilot, has died

It’s been reported that prolific director Robert Butler has passed away. Butler had a long career directing television and film, including series such as Star Trek (most notably original pilot “The Cage”), Remington Steele, Moonlighting, Gunsmoke, and The Fugitive. He also directed films for the big and small screens, like Disney’s The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and The Barefoot Executive, Turbulence, and Up the Creek.

Well known for being selected to helm pilot episodes and establishing style and tone, Butler was behind the camera for the inaugural episodes of the 1966 Batman series and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. It was his use of dry humor and Dutch angles that helped make Batman the camp classic that it’s become, and his great character work made Lois & Clark a crackling, exciting workplace romance. For Batman, Butler directed the aforementioned “Hi Diddle Riddle” and “Smack in the Middle” as well as two more classic Season One two-parters: “Fine Feathered Finks” and “The Penguin’s a Jinx”, and the Mr. Freeze-centric “Instant Freeze” and “Rats Like Cheese.”

He was 95.