Tom Donovan was a director and producer who got his start during the Golden Age of Television. As President of the New York Local of the Radio and Television Directors Guild, he played a key role in the 1960 merger between the RTDG and the Screen Directors Guild, leading to the formation of the Directors Guild of America. Donovan began his career as a stage manager in theater. He learned the fundamentals of television directing while working alongside directors such as Sidney Lumet, Yul Brynner, Martin Ritt, Ralph Nelson, and Franklin J. Schaeffner. As his career progressed, Donovan worked on notable anthology series like The United States Steel Hour, Studio One, Playhouse 90; Danger; and Hallmark Hall of Fame. Later, he produced and directed daytime serial including Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Another World, A World Apart, and General Hospital.
Donovan served on the first National Board of the DGA, eventually holding nearly every board position, including National Vice President from 1983-1987. He also served on the DGA’s Eastern Directors Council from 1962 until his passing in 2011, was a member of the 1984 Negotiating Committee and was a longtime Trustee of the DGA Foundation. For his contributions to the Guild, Donovan was made an Honorary Life Member in 1985 and was the recipient of the Robert B. Aldrich Award for extraordinary service to the Guild and its membership in 2011.
Donovan passed away in October 2011.