James B. Clark
James B. Clark was originally from the town of Stillwater, Minnesota. He was born in 1908. He worked as a motion picture editor on more than fifty films, from 1937 to 1960. He first ventured into directing with the episodes of the My Friend Flicka series. Afterward, he went on to direct on many more television series, and a few feature films as well, like Fox's family classic A Dog of Flanders, starring David Ladd, Donald Crisp and Theodore Bikel, The Big Show (1961) starring Esther Williams and Cliff Robertson, and Flipper, with Chuck Conners and Luke Halpin. Some of the other television series he directed include Playhouse 90, The Munroes, Batman, Daniel Boone, The Wild Wild West, Bonanza, The High Chaparral, and Lassie. He lived until July of 2000, when he passed away, age 92, in Woodland Hills, California.
John Wilkinson English was born in Cumberland, England in 1903. After emigrating to the United States, he directed about sixty-six motion pictures during the 1930s, 40s and 50s, a bulk of them westerns. He began directing in television in 1951 with the Range Rider series. He directed other notable series like The Gene Autry Show, The Roy Rogers Show, Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill Jr., Soldiers of Fortune, Studio 57, The Adventures of Kit Carson, and The Adventures of Champion before directing several My Friend Flicka episodes. After the series ended, he continued directing many other television western series, including Broken Arrow, Tales of Wells Fargo, Trackdown, Black Saddle, Zane Grey Theater, Johnny Ringo, Death Valley Days, The Rifleman, Wagon Train, Frontier Circus, Wide Country, Gunsmoke, and Daniel Boone. He also directed episodes of Mike Hammer, State Trooper, Checkmate, Lassie, and many others. English also did a great deal of editing on various television series. He passed away in Los Angeles in October of 1969 at age 66.
Robert Gordon was born in 1913 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He began as an actor at the age of ten and appeared in more than two dozen motion pictures through the 1920s and 1930s. He made his directorial debut with a Chester Morris film titled Blind Spot, and directed several more motion pictures, including The Joe Louis Story and It Came from Beneath the Sea, before directing episodes of the My Friend Flicka television series. When the series ended he went on to direct episodes of popular series like Zane Grey Theater, The Texan, Maverick, Bonanza and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. His last directing credit was the film The Gatling Gun in 1973. He passed away at age 77 in Los Angeles in 1990.
Nathan Juran was born in 1907 in the town of Gurhumora, Bukovina, Austria-Hungary (now part of Romania). His original profession was architect until he entered the motion picture industry as an art director in 1937. He won an Academy Award for art direction on How Green Was My Valley (1941), the John Ford classic starring Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara and Roddy McDowall. After serving in the OSS during World War II, he went back to art direction. He transitioned to directing in the early 1950s with B-western films, then directed several episodes of My Friend Flicka. He went on later to direct several more motion pictures, including Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (both 1958). He also directed many episodes of other television series, including World of Giants, A Man Called Shenandoah, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, and Daniel Boone. Juran passed away in Palos Verdes Estates, California at age 95, in 2002.
Donald McDougal was born in San Francisco in 1917. Sometimes credited as Don McDougal, he ventured into directing while working as a script supervisor in the early 1950s. His first directorial credit was for The Range Rider series in 1951. Before directing for My Friend Flicka, he directed episodes of Annie Oakley and The Roy Rogers Show. About the same time as the Flicka series, he also directed episodes of The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin and Jungle Jim. Afterward, he directed for a great number of series, including Trackdown, State Trooper, Richard Diamond Private Detective, Laramie, The Rifleman, Wanted Dead or Alive, M Squad, Rawhide, Bonanza, Star Trek, The Virginian, The High Chaparral, Mod Squad, Mannix, Ironside, The Six Million Dollar Man, The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Fall Guy, and many others. McDougal passed away in February of 1991 at age 77 in California.
Albert S. Rogell
Albert S. Rogell was born in Oklahoma City in August of 1901, but he moved with his family to Spokane, Washington while still a young child. He managed to get a job with the Washington Motion Picture Company at age fifteen, then traveled to Los Angeles to continue to work in silent films after that company went bankrupt. He then had several jobs before working with director George Tucker, who mentored him in many facets of the business. After Tucker's death, Rogell was hired by producer Sol Lesser to direct short films. He became a feature director in 1923, and his main output was B-action films for many years, including In Old Oklahoma (1943), starring John Wayne. Another notable film of his was Heaven Only Knows (1947), starring Bob Cummings, Brian Donlevy and Edgar Kennedy. He left film production in the early 1950s, after directing an astounding 120 or so motion pictures, and moved to television. After working on Flicka, he directed other TV series for Fox, including Broken Arrow. His brother, Sid Rogell (1900-1973) was a producer of over 60 motion pictures. Albert Rogell passed away in Los Angeles at age 86 from cancer, complicated by his diabetes, in 1988.
Frederick Stephani was born in Bonn, Germany in 1903. He wrote Flash Gordon screenplays during the 1930s, and continued to write stories and screenplays into the mid-1960s. He also produced many motion pictures during the late 1930s and the 1940s, including Tarzan's New York Adventure (1941). He directed on several other television series, including Waterfront and Passport to Danger, before the My Friend Flicka series. He continued directing into the 1960s. Stephani wrote a novel titled My Candle Burns in 1934. He passed away in 1962 in Los Angeles too young at age 59.
Alan A. Armer
Alan Armer (1922-2002) began his career in the entertainment industry as an announcer after serving overseas with the US Army during World War II then earning a BS degree at Stanford University. In addition to My Friend Flicka, he also produced two other successful 1950s TV series, Broken Arrow and Man Without A Gun. Later on, he was executive producer of The Untouchables. He also produced The Fugitive for Quinn Martin Productions in the '60s, for which he accepted an Emmy in 1966. He also produced The Invaders, and the Lancer western TV series. In the 1970s he began lecturing at Cal State Northridge--the college that Johnny Washbrook had attended--and in 1980 he became a full professor there, teaching screenwriting, directing and mass communications for the next twenty years. Before his death he donated $1 million for a 120-seat film screening room in Manzanita Hall. It is named after Armer and his wife Elaine.
Mel Berns (Sr.)
Mel Berns (1897-1977) had, since 1925, done the makeup for more than one-hundred-thirty motion pictures before working on the My Friend Flicka series. He was the makeup supervisor for the original King Kong film early in his career. He created the makeup for Katharine Hepburn's screen test at RKO Pictures, and was the Head of Makeup at RKO for more than twenty years, also creating the makeup for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He and Ginger Rogers were lifelong friends, and she made ample reference to their friendship in her autobiography: Ginger: My Story. He worked extensively in television after leaving RKO. When the Flicka series ended, he was the makeup artist for television’s Perry Mason, The Rifleman and The Dick Powell Show Mel's brother was a makeup artist as well. His son, Mel Berns, Jr. (1940-2011) followed in his father’s footsteps, and was the makeup artist for The Partridge Family, Charlie’s Angels, and other series.
by Leo Klatzkin