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)
OccupationFilm director, actor
Years active1960–2019

James Joseph Frawley (September 29, 1936 – January 22, 2019) was an American film 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.


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 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, Smallville, Ghost Whisperer and Judging Amy. He directed occasional feature films and television films, most notably The Muppet Movie in 1979, in which he had a cameo. His last acting role was a bartender in TV's American Gothic in 1996.

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 "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.[5][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 0-02-542650-8.
  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. ^ a b 'Monkees' TV director and Indian Wells resident James Frawley dies in desert he loved -Desert Sun
  6. ^ https://variety.com/2019/film/news/james-frawley-dead-dies-monkees-muppet-movie-1203117008/