Walter Grauman was raised in the entertainment industry amidst his father’s successful chain of theaters (the most famous being Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater). Upon returning from World War II (where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying 56 combat missions) Grauman became a stage manager at NBC in Los Angeles. After working on such early live television shows as Lights, Camera, Action! and Matinee Theatre in the 1950s, Grauman directed his first film, the horror feature The Disembodied in 1957. This was followed by directing episodes of such popular series of the ‘50s and ‘60s as Man Without a Gun, Perry Mason, The New Breed, The Untouchables, Naked City, Twilight Zone, Route 66, Burke’s Law, The Fugitive, Blue Light (which he also wrote and produced), and Felony Squad.
Although most well known in television, specifically for directing pilots, Grauman also directed five feature films after The Disembodied; Lady in a Cage (1964), 633 Squadron (1964), A Rage to Live (1965), I Deal in Danger (1966), and The Last Escape (1970). His later television work had a focus on movies-for-television, including Daughter of the Mind (1969), The Old Man Who Cried Wolf (1970), The Forgotten Man (1971), Dead Men Tell No Tales (1971), Jigsaw (1972), Manhunter (1974), Force Five (1975), The Golden Gate Murders (1979), To Race the Wind (1980), Valley of the Dolls (1981), Illusions (1983), Covenant (1985), and Who Is Julia? (1986), along with episodes of the series The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, Bare Essence, Columbo and Murder, She Wrote.
For his directorial efforts, Grauman was nominated for the DGA Award for the movie-for-television The Old Man Who Cried Wolf in 1971. Grauman served on the Western Directors Council from 1984-86 as well as the 1973 Negotiating Committee.