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Mischer leads here. For the specialized treatment for diseases of the brain and spine, see Mischer Neuroscience Institute

Donald Leo "Don" Mischer[2] (born March 5, 1940)[3] is an American producer and director of television and live events and President of Don Mischer Productions.

Don Mischer
Don Mischer.jpg
Donald Leo Mischer

(1940-03-05) March 5, 1940 (age 79)
Alma materUniversity of Texas
OccupationTelevision producer and director
Years active1969–present
Beverly J Mischer (m. 1960–1984)
Suzan Reed Mischer (m. 1989)
ChildrenJennifer Christine, Heather Mischer Godsey, Charles Donald, Lilly Ellison



Mischer has been honored with fifteen Emmy Awards, a record ten Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, two NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, and the 2012 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television from the Producers Guild of America and the 2019 Director’s Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award for Television”.[4]

As a producer/director, his credits include The Oscars, We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, the Kennedy Center Honors, the 100th Anniversary of Carnegie Hall, Motown 25, the Super Bowl Halftime Shows (Michael Jackson, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen), the Democratic National Convention, and the Opening Ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics and 2002 Winter Olympics. Mischer has also produced specials with Beyoncé, Bono, Prince, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Garth Brooks, Mary J. Blige, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Yo Yo Ma, and Morgan Freeman, among others.

He has received the Governors Award from the National Association of Choreographers and is a member of the Event Industry Hall of Fame, the Producers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, where he has served two terms on the Board of Governors. As a member of the Directors Guild of America, he has served three terms on the National Board, and in 2019 received the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Television. Only the fourth such award ever given for television.[5] On December 11, 2014, Mischer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[6]

Personal addendumEdit

  • Don Mischer Productions was formed in 1983. Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare became Partners in DMP in 2005. They function out of Los Angeles as an international producing/packaging team and are represented by CAA.
  • Don was with a group of University of Texas students at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin Texas awaiting the arrival of President John Kennedy on November 22, 1963. That fateful Friday afternoon, President Kennedy was to have traveled to Austin. He was en route to the airport when he passed the Texas Schoolbook Depository building in Dallas, where he was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • At the age of 25, Mischer wrote and directed a documentary film in Saudi Arabia for ARAMCO. “Valley of Saleh” explored the trade routes and settlements of the ancient Nabatean civilization (300-500 BC) in the Hejaz region of Northwestern Saudi Arabia. The film was shot with a Middle Eastern crew in extremely remote areas of the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Mischer summited the Matterhorn, in the Swiss Alps, on July 31,1996. Climbing with Legendary Swiss Mountain Guide, Richard Andenmatten, they began in Zermatt and reached the 14.692 foot summit via the Hornli Ridge, on the Northeastern edge of the iconic mountain.
  • While in Washington D.C. Mischer wrote, directed, and edited a short film with Ronald Bladen, an American painter and sculptor, particularly known for his large-scale sculptures. “X” was shot at the Corcoran Museum in all night sessions while Bladden completed his work, which later appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine. The film received an Award of Merit from the Yale Film Festival.
  • For 18 consecutive years, Mischer has directed the Annual 9/11 Memorial Commemoration at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. In honor of the 2,977 people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, each individual name is read aloud. NYPD, NYFD, and Port Authority Honor Guards stand at attention during the readings. Moments of silence are observed that mark each of the events of 911, at the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, and the farm in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where UA Flight 93 went down.
  • On May 21, 2014, Don Mischer Productions produced the official dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Museum by President Barak Obama, Michael Bloomberg, and other national dignitaries.
  • Don has had a lifelong interested in model railroading. He has built layouts in N, O, HO, and LGB gauges. His layouts are theatrical, with music, extensive lighting cues, and sky cycloramas embedded with fiber optic stars.

Personal lifeEdit

Mischer was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Lillian and Elmer Mischer.[7] After graduating from Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio, Mischer completed his education at the University of Texas Austin. He graduated with a BA Degree in 1961 and with a master’s degree in Sociology and Political Science in 1963. Mischer’s work took him to Washington, D.C., where he worked with the US Information Agency and Oscar-winning documentarian Charles Guggenheim. With his first wife Beverly, he has two children, Jennifer Christine and Heather Mischer Godsey. After 10 years in New York, he relocated to Los Angeles where he had two children, Charles Donald and Lilly Ellison, with his wife Suzan Reed Mischer, a former CBS executive and graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.


  • Mischer has 40 Primetime Emmy nominations, with 15 Emmy wins: 13 wins through the The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and 2 wins through the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
  • 10 Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement.
  • George Foster Peabody Award for Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.
  • Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television, from the Producers Guild of America (2012).
  • Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award (2019). Only the fourth such award given for Television Direction.
  • 2 NAACP Image Awards.[4]
  • Governors Award from the National Association of Choreographers.
  • Membership in the Event Industry Hall of Fame.
  • Received Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on December 11, 2014.[8]

2004 Democratic National ConventionEdit

In 2004, he produced the Democratic National Convention at Fleet Arena in Boston. After John Kerry’s acceptance speech, balloons were supposed drop from the ceiling onto the delegates below. However, the balloons got stuck in the ceiling and did not fall. Mischer subsequently lost his temper with his tech crew and his profanities were aired accidentally by CNN’s live broadcast.[9][10]

Selected television creditsEdit

Year Show Role Awards
1970-71 Great American Dream Machine - PBS Director
1973-1975 In Concert - ABC Director
1976 Twyla Tharp: Making Television Dance - PBS Director
1978-1986 The Kennedy Center Honors - CBS Director 3 Primetime Emmy Awards, 3 Directors Guild Awards
1978 Omnibus: Meryl Streep - ABC Director
1981 Goldie & Lisa Together - CBS Producer / Director
1982 Shirley McLlain Illusions - NBC Producer / Director Directors Guild Award
1982 Baryshnikov in Hollywood - CBS Director 2 Primetime Emmy Nominations
1983 Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever - NBC Producer / Director Primetime Emmy Award, Peabody Award, Director's Guild Award
1984 Baryshnikov by Tharp - Great Performances PBS Producer / Director Primetime Emmy Award, Director's Guild Award (with co Director Twayla Thwarp)
1985 Motown Returns to The Apollo - NBC Producer / Director Primetime Emmy Award, Emmy Nomination, Director's Guild Award
1985 Carnegie Hall: Grand Reopening - CBS Producer
1989 Willie Nelson: Texas Style - CBS Producer, Director, Writer
1987 The Tony Awards - CBS Executive Producer Primetime Emmy Award
1988 The Tony Awards - CBS Executive Producer Primetime Emmy Nomination
1989 The Tony Awards - CBS Executive Producer Primetime Emmy Award
1988 Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday at Carnegie Hall - CBS Executive Producer Primetime Emmy Award
1991 Gregory Hines: Tap Dance in America - Great Performances PBS Producer / Director Primetime Emmy Award, Directors Guild Award
1992-2005 The Kennedy Center Honors - CBS Producer 2 Primetime Emmy Awards
1991 Carnegie Hall Live at 100 – PBS Executive Producer Emmy Nomination
1992 Bob Hope: The First 90 Years – NBC Producer Emmy Award
1993 Michael Jackson Superbowl 27 Halftime – NBC Producer / Director
1996 Atlanta Cenntenial Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies – Worldwide Feed Producer / Director Emmy Award, Directors Guild Award
1998 Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson – CBS Producer / Director Emmy Nomination
1998 To Life: Israel's 50th Anniversary Celebration - ABC Producer
1999 Sonny + Cher: Cher Remembers - CBS Producer / Director
2000 Barbra Striesand: Timeless - FOX Producer / Director Directors Guild Award Nomination (with c/o director Barbra Striesand)
2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies - Worldworld Feed Executive Producer Academy of Television Arts and Sciences National Sports Emmy Award
2004 Democratic National Convention 2004 Producer
2005 McCarney Superbowl 39 Halftime - FOX Producer / Director
2006 Rolling Stones Superbowl 40 Halftime- ABC Producer / Director
2007 James Taylor: One Man Band - PBS Producer / Director Emmy Nomination
2007 Shanghai Special Olympics - CCTV, BBC Producer
2007 Prince Superbowl 41 Halftime - CBS Producer / Director Emmy Nomination
MULTIPLE YEARS Emmy Awards - ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX Executive Producer
2007 Movies Rock - CBS Executive Producer / Director
2008 Tom Petty Superbowl 42 Halftime - NBC Executive Producer / Director
2008 Fashion Rocks Producer + Director
2009 We Are One: Obama Inaugural Concert at The Lincoln Memorial - HBO Producer / Director Directors Guild Award
2009 Springsteen Superbowl 43 Halftime - NBC Executive Producer / Director Emmy Nomination
2011 The 83rd Producer / Director Emmy Nomination
2012 The 84th Oscars Producer / Director Emmy Nomination
2013 The 85th Oscars Director Emmy Nomination
2012 One Night Only: Eddie Murphy - SPIKE Producer / Director
2016 Jazz at The White House - ABC Producer / Director
2012-2019 The Breakthrough Prize - FOX, NatGeo Producer / Director
2014 One Night Only: Don Rickles - SPIKE Producer
2011 - 2013 Billboard Music Awards - ABC Executive Producer
2014 9/11 Memorial Museum Dedication Producer / Director
2016 Taking The Stage: African American Music and Stories that Changed America - ABC Executive Producer/ Writer


  1. ^ Jack Kuney (1 February 1990). Take one: television directors on directing. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-26384-2.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2012-09-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Broadcasting & Cable. Cahners Publishing Company. October 2009.
  4. ^ a b "Directors Guild to Honor Don Mischer With Lifetime Achievement Award". The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^ "Live TV Directing Legend Don Mischer to Receive DGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Television -".
  6. ^ "Don Mischer Receives His Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame". Variety. 17 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Don Mischer receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles". UPI.
  9. ^ "100,000 balloons a trial for producer". Los Angeles Times. 31 July 2004.
  10. ^ Balloon Drop Failure at 2004 DNC – CNN Snafu on YouTube

External linksEdit