Kirk Browning, Director of "Live From Lincoln Center," Dies at 86

Obituaries   Kirk Browning, Director of "Live From Lincoln Center," Dies at 86
Kirk Browning, the longtime director of "Live From Lincoln Center" and a longtime hand at creating televised theatre, died on Feb. 10 of cardiac arrest, in Manhattan. He was 86.

Mr. Browning devoted most of his life to capturing the performing arts for television. His directing credits stretch back to the golden age of television in the 1950s, when he directed for such programs as "Producers Showcase" and "The Bell Telephone Hour."

In 1974, he directed, with Ellis Raab, a television record of Gorky's Enemies for "Great Performances." After that, rarely a year passed without his bringing some stage classic to the small screen. The same year as Enemies, he directed George S. Kaufman and Ring Lardner's June Moon, featuring a rare acting performance by Stephen Sondheim, and O'Neill's A Touch of the Poet with Fritz Weaver and Nancy Marchand. The Time of Your Life, The Taming of the Shrew, The Royal Family, Tartuffe and A Life in the Theatre followed.

The 1980s brought You Can't Take it With You, The House of Blue Leaves with John Mahoney and Swoosie Kurtz, Our Town with Spalding Gray, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of The Grapes of Wrath and Tru with Robert Morse. Some of these were for the PBS program "American Playhouse."

He directed 185 productions of "Live From Lincoln Center," one of the most recent being The Light in the Piazza. Mr. Browning won three prime-time Emmy Awards for directing during his career. Ten of his "Live From Lincoln Center" programs won Emmys as well. In addition to his Emmy Awards, Browning received two Christopher Awards, a CITA Award, and a George Foster Peabody Award.

Browning is survived by his wife, the former Barbara Gum, and their two sons, David Browning of Westchester County and Jeremy Browning of Nantucket, MA.

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