It is no exaggeration to declare that the name of the film and television producer-director Arnold Laven, who has died aged 87, has been seen by millions of people all over the world, even if it might not have registered. Think of all those viewers of the TV series The Rifleman (1959-63) and The Big Valley (1965-69), made by Laven's company, Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions, many episodes of which he directed.
Laven was also credited as director on scores of episodes of such archetypal 1970s series as Marcus Welby MD, Gunsmoke, Mannix, Ironside, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Rockford Files and Fantasy Island. In the 1980s he directed, among others, several episodes of Hill Street Blues and The A-Team. In addition, Laven directed 11 feature films from 1952 to 1969, some for companies other than his own.
In the late 1930s, the Chicago-born Laven moved with his family to Los Angeles,