The son of film director and former Directors Guild President Mark Sandrich (Holiday Inn, Top Hat), television director Jay Sandrich got his start in the industry after making training films for the military. On leaving the Army, he was hired by Desilu Productions as a second assistant director to work on I Love Lucy (1951-1957) with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Sandrich would go on to become an assistant director on series like The Danny Thomas Show (1957-1964), The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957-1960), and The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966).
Sandrich got his first opportunity to direct on The Danny Thomas Show, then went on to direct the series He & She (1967-1968), and worked as a producer and director on Get Smart (1965-1969). He reunited with The Dick Van Dyke Show's Mary Tyler Moore for The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977), directing 119 episodes. He would later direct 55 episodes of Soap (1977-1979), and over a hundred episodes of The Cosby Show (1984-1992). Sandrich also directed episodes of popular series like The Bob Newhart Show (1972-1975), Benson (1979), Night Court (1984), and The Golden Girls (1985-1987), as well as pilots for series including WKRP Cincinnati, A Different World, Empty Nest, The Office and The Tony Danza Show.
Jay Sandrich is the recipient of numerous awards for television comedy directing. He won DGA Awards for The Lily Tomlin Special in 1976, The Cosby Show in 1985, and The Golden Girls in 1986, and received four DGA nominations for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and two DGA nominations for Soap. Sandrich was the recipient of a Daytime Emmy for Insight (1984), and was Emmy-nominated five times for directing The Mary Tyler Moore Show, winning twice in 1971 and 1973. He also received two Emmy nominations for Soap, and another three Emmy nominations and two wins for The Cosby Show in 1985 and 1986.
Sandrich has been a DGA member since 1952. He was an alternate on the National Board from 1989-1993, served on the Western Directors Council from 1978-1985 and 1992-1996, and was a Directors Guild Foundation alternate from 1995-1999.