Today’s Women Behind the Scenes spotlight is shone on film and television director Arlene Sanford.
Arlene got her start in television in 1980 by writing the story for an episode of the classic family series Diff’rent Strokes and then writing, producing and directing a short film called Welcome Home that starred Jamie Lee Curtis.
From that point on she focused on directing by working on episodes of Designing Women, The Ellen Burstyn Show, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, The Wonder Years, Dear John, Hooperman, Coach and Newhart.
As we move into the 90’s, Arlene directed for shows such as Ferris Bueller, Cop Rock, Elvis, True Colors, Sisters, Almost Home, Friends and Caroline in the City. She got her first big break in directing a feature film with the 1996 release A Very Brady Sequel and then directed the 1998 Jonathan Taylor Thomas film I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
At the turn of the century, she directed episodes of shows like Gilmore Girls, The West Wing, Malcolm in the Middle, Once and Again, Ed, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Everwood, Miss Match, Dawson’s Creek, Boston Legal, Arrested Development, Weeds, What About Brian, My Boys, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game, Psych, Medium, Grey’s Anatomy, The Starter Wife, Monk and Desperate Housewives.
Over the last few years she has directed episodes of Drop Dead Diva, Pretty Little Liars and Harry’s Law as well as the made-for-TV movies 12 Men of Christmas and Good Luck Charlie It’s Christmas.
Arlene is also the winner of a CableACE Award for her directorial work on the 1990’s critically acclaimed HBO comedy series Dream On and she was nominated for a Director’s Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Comedy Series for an episode of Desperate Housewives.
NOTE: This article is also rather fortuitous as Arlene directed both episodes of Switched by Birth and Jane By Design that aired last night.