Edwin Sherin

Edwin Sherin (January 15, 1930 – May 4, 2017) was an American director and producer. He is best known as the director and executive producer of the NBC drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1991–2005).

Edwin Sherin
Born(1930-01-15)January 15, 1930
DiedMay 4, 2017(2017-05-04) (aged 87)
Other namesEd Sherin
OccupationActor, director, producer
Years active1971–2009
Spouse(s)Pamela Vevers (divorced)
(m. 1975)
RelativesJace Alexander (stepson)

Early lifeEdit

Sherin was born in Danville, Pennsylvania, the son of Ruth (née Berger), a homemaker, and Joseph Sherin, a textile worker.[1] He grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Inwood, Manhattan.[1] He had a sister, Edith Sherin Markson, who was among the founders of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.[1][2]

When he was 16 years old, Sherin dropped out of DeWitt Clinton High School and traveled to West Texas, where he worked on a cattle ranch. He eventually resumed his education at the Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs, graduating in 1948.[1] In 1952, he graduated from Brown University, where he received a degree in international relations.[1] After graduation, Sherin enlisted in the Navy and fought in the Korean War.[1]


Sherin started out as an actor, training at the Paul Mann’s Actors Workshop and studying with John Houseman at the American Shakespeare Theatre.[1]

He met Alexander while serving as the resident director at Washington, DC's Arena Stage, where he cast her and James Earl Jones in The Great White Hope. In 1968, he directed the play and its two stars on Broadway,[3] and the production marked the start not only of his Broadway directorial career, but a long professional and personal relationship with Alexander as well.

He directed Alexander in The First Monday in October on Broadway in 1978,[4] Hedda Gabler at the Hartman Theatre (Connecticut) in 1981[5] in the American Playhouse television movie A Marriage: Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, in 1991.[6] and in the Broadway revival of The Visit.[7]

While working at the Arena Stage, Sherin directed many plays, including The Wall (1963–1964), Galileo (1964–1965), St. Joan (1965–1966), Macbeth (1966–1967), The Iceman Cometh (1967–1968), and King Lear (1968–1969).[8]

Sherin won the 1969 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director for The Great White Hope[9] and was nominated for a 1974 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play (Find Your Way Home).

The Time of Your Life was revived on March 17, 1972, at the Huntington Hartford Theater in Los Angeles where Henry Fonda, Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Thompson, Strother Martin. Jane Alexander, Richard X. Slattery, Lewis J. Stadlen and Pepper Martin were among the cast with Sherin directing.[10][11]

In 1974, Sherin directed a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire at London's Theatre with Claire Bloom, Martin Shaw, Joss Ackland, and Morag Hood.[12]

In 2009, Sherin directed Alexander again in Thom Thomas's A Moon to Dance By at The Pittsburgh Playhouse and at The George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey.


Sherin executive-produced 163 episodes of the NBC drama Law & Order, between 1993 and 2000.[13] His television directing credits include all three editions of the current Law & Order franchise; Hill Street Blues; L.A. Law; Doogie Howser, M.D.; Homicide: Life on the Street;[14] and Medium.[15][16][17]

Sherin directed the television films Lena: My 100 Children (1987), The Father Clements Story (1987), Settle the Score (1989), Daughter of the Streets (1990), and A Marriage: Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz (1991).


Sherin directed two theatrical films: Valdez Is Coming with Burt Lancaster and Susan Clark and My Old Man's Place with William Devane and Michael Moriarty. Both films were released in 1971.

Personal lifeEdit

Sherin's first wife was actress Pamela Vevers, with whom he had three sons. The marriage ended in divorce.[1][18] In 1975, he married actress Jane Alexander.[13]

He and Alexander became Canadian citizens, having maintained a home in Lockeport, Nova Scotia since 1998.[19]


Sherin died on May 4, 2017, in Nova Scotia, aged 87.[20][21]


Sources: Internet Broadway Database;[22] Internet Off-Broadway Database[23]

  • The White Rose and the Red (1964)[33]
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1974)[34]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Grimes, William (May 8, 2017). "Edwin Sherin, Theater and 'Law & Order' Director, Dies at 87". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 24, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Edith Markson, 81, Promoter of Theater". The New York Times. September 16, 1994. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  3. ^ Barnes, Clive."'The Great White Hope'" The New York Times, October 4, 1968
  4. ^ "The First Monday in October listing" InternetBroadwayDatabase, accessed April 10, 2011
  5. ^ Gussow, Mel."Theater:Jane Alexander Plays 'Hedda Gabler'" The New York Times, October 2, 1981,
  6. ^ "Variety Review" VARIETY TV REV 1991-92 17 (books.google.com), JTaylor & Francis, 1994, ISBN 0-8240-3796-0, July 17, 1991 (no page number)
  7. ^ a b Rich, Frank."'The Visit'; Revenge and Common Greed As the Root of Much Evil" The New York Times, January 24, 1992
  8. ^ "Arena Stage, Production History" Archived 2011-01-12 at the Wayback Machine arenastage.org, accessed April 10, 2011
  9. ^ "1968-1969 15th Drama Desk Awards" dramadesk.com, accessed April 10, 2011
  10. ^ WorldCat. Worldcat.org. OCLC 611053954.
  11. ^ "Hollywood Beat". The Afro American. 1972-04-08. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  12. ^ Kolin, Philip C."London, 1974" Williams: A streetcar named desire, Cambridge University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-521-62610-2, p. 97
  13. ^ a b Roberts, Jerry."Robert B. Aldrich Award" Archived 2010-03-16 at the Wayback Machine dga.org, accessed April 10, 2011
  14. ^ Bianculli, David."A Trifecta For 'Homicide' Fans" New York Daily News, November 12, 1997
  15. ^ "Filmography, Edwin Sherin" Archived 2012-09-23 at the Wayback Machine movies.msn.com, accessed April 11, 2011
  16. ^ "Edwin Sherin, Filmography by year" InternetMovieDatabase, accessed April 11, 2011
  17. ^ "Edwin Sherin, Filmography" movies.amctv.com, accessed April 11, 2011
  18. ^ "Notes on People", The New York Times, March 15, 1975, p. 13
  19. ^ "South Shore enchants actress". Archived from the original on 2018-09-17. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  20. ^ McNary, Dave (May 5, 2017). "'Law & Order' Director, DGA Official Ed Sherin Dies at 87". Variety. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  21. ^ Shanley, Patrick (May 5, 2017). "Edwin Sherin, Director of 'The Great White Hope' on Broadway and 'Law & Order,' Dies at 87". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  22. ^ Edwin Sherin profile, IBDb.com; accessed April 10, 2011.
  23. ^ "Internet Off-Broadway Database listing" Archived 2012-03-10 at the Wayback Machine Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed April 11, 2011
  24. ^ Jones, Kenneth."'Prymate' Quietly Closes on Broadway" Archived 2010-06-19 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, May 10, 2004
  25. ^ Gussow, Mel."Play: 'Goodbye Fidel' About Cuban Exiles; Between Parties" The New York Times (abstract), April 24, 1980
  26. ^ Arbuzov, Alekseĭ Nikolaevich.Script Do you turn somersaults?: A play in two parts (books.google.com), Samuel French, Inc., 1978, ISBN 0-573-60832-6, p.4
  27. ^ Barnes, Clive."Stage:Williams' Eccentricities" The New York Times (abstract), November 24, 1976, p. 23
  28. ^ Barnes, Clive. "'Rex' by Rodgers Stars Williamson", The New York Times, April 26, 1976, p. 32
  29. ^ Barnes, Clive."The Stage:'Sweet Bird' of Brooklyn" The New York Times (abstract), December 4, 1975, p. 53
  30. ^ Kanfer, Stefan."The Theater: Brute Strength" Time Magazine, December 30, 1974
  31. ^ Randall, Bob.Script 6 rms riv vu: a Comedy in Two Acts (books.google.com), Samuel French, Inc., 1973, ISBN 0-573-61545-4, p. 3
  32. ^ "'An Evening With Richard Nixon and..' cast and crew listing" broadwayworld.com, accessed April 12, 2011
  33. ^ "'The White Rose and the Red' cast and crew" broadwayworld.com, accessed April 12, 2011
  34. ^ "'A Streetcar Named Desire' cast and crew" theatricalia.com, accessed February 6, 2020

External linksEdit