Gene Reynolds started acting at the age of 10 in films like Sins of Man (1936), In Old Chicago (1937), Of Human Hearts (1938), The Crowd Roars (1938), Boys Town (1938), Edison, The Man (1940), and many more. After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted and served four years in the Navy. After WWII, he continued to act in feature films and television series such as Dragnet, Hallmark Hall of Fame; Studio 57, Crossroads, Whirlybirds, and I Love Lucy. Reynolds acted in the Hennessey series pilot in 1959, the show where he launched his directing career. During the 1960s, he directed highly acclaimed series like Tales of Wells Fargo, for which he also wrote numerous episodes; Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Peter Gunn, My Three Sons, Leave It to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, F Troop, Hogan’s Heroes, and Room 222, which he also produced and which won the Emmy for Outstanding New Series in 1970.
In the early 1970s, Reynolds scored a major hit with the television series M*A*S*H, which he both wrote for and executive produced. For M*A*S*H, he won DGA Awards in 1973 and in 1974. M*A*S*H won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1974, and was nominated three years in a row from 1975 to 1977. As a director, Gene won an Emmy for M*A*S*H in 1975 and 1976, and as a writer, he was nominated for an Emmy in 1976.
Reynolds had another big success with Lou Grant, which he wrote for, executive produced, and directed. For Lou Grant, he won a DGA Award in 1979, and was nominated again in 1980 and 1981. As director of the series, he was nominated for an Emmy for four years in a row from 1979 to 1982. The show won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 1979 and 1980, and was nominated in 1978, 1981 and 1982. Reynolds was also nominated for his writing on Lou Grant in 1979 and 1980, received the Women in Film Humanitarian Award in 1981, and the Humanitas Prize in 1982.
In addition to episodic series, he has directed and produced movies for television like Anderson and Company (1969), Southern Fried (1970), If I Love You, Am I Trapped Forever? (1974), Doing Life (1986), and The Whereabouts of Jenny (1991). Later in his career, he directed episodes of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Second Chances, Christy, Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, and the movie for television, How to Get There (1999).
Gene Reynolds has been a Guild member since 1959. He held several positions on the National Board, including two terms as DGA President from 1993-1997. He also served on the Western Directors Council for more than two decades and held several offices on the Directors Guild Foundation Board of Trustees. He was chair of the 1993 Negotiations Committee and served on several other Negotiations Committees, as well as multiple terms on the Reality and Special Projects Committees. During his presidency, he conceived the idea of the DGA Student Film Awards – an annual competition recognizing outstanding women and minority students at film schools across the nation – and was chair of the Student Film Awards Committee from its inception. In 1993, Reynolds received the DGA’s Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for his extraordinary service to the Guild and its members.