James Frawley
James Frawley in I Spy, 1966
James Joseph Frawley

(1936-09-29)September 29, 1936
DiedJanuary 22, 2019(2019-01-22) (aged 82)
Occupation(s)Film director, actor
Years active1960–2019

James Joseph Frawley (September 29, 1936 – January 22, 2019) was an American director and actor. He was a member of the Actors Studio since around 1961.[1][2]He was best known for directing The Muppet Movie (1979),[3]and The Monkees television series.


Born in Houston, Texas, Frawley had a short-lived acting career, appearing in supporting roles in film and television from 1963 to 1966. A memorable appearance was the role of Hawaii District Attorney Alvarez in the 1965 Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Feather Cloak." In 1966, he was hired as a director for the new series The Monkees, he ended up directing half of the series 58 episodes.[4]

He began a career of over four decades as a director. TV series he directed included Cagney & Lacey, Magnum, P.I., Smallville, Ghost Whisperer, and Judging Amy, along with many others. He directed occasional feature films and television films, most notably The Muppet Movie in 1979, in which he also had a cameo. His last acting role was that of a bartender in TV's American Gothic in 1996.[citation needed]

He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series in 1967 for the episode "Royal Flush" of The Monkees, and was nominated for the same award the following year for another Monkees episode, "The Devil and Peter Tork."[5]

Frawley died from a heart attack while at home in Indian Wells, California, on January 22, 2019, at the age of 82.[6]





  1. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0025426508.
  2. ^ James Frawley at the University of Wisconsin's Actors Studio audio collection Archived 2013-10-04 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Celebrate 40 Years of The Muppet Movie with These "Muppetational" Facts-D23
  4. ^ "TV Episodes". themonkees.com.
  5. ^ TV director and Indian Wells resident James Frawley dies in desert he loved-Desert Sun
  6. ^ "James Frawley, Director of 'The Monkees,' 'The Muppet Movie,' Dies at 82". January 24, 2019.