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Richard J. Lewis


B: in Toronto, Ontario

Born in Toronto, Richard J. Lewis first showed promise on the tennis court and attended Northwestern University in Illinois on a tennis scholarship. He got tossed out of the institution for, as he has said, “sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll.” He became interested in theatre, and “was acting and directing, had a radio show. I was in a rock band. There were so many things to do.” He next headed to Paris where he worked as a gofer for a magazine, then became a ski bum in the Alps. With his misspent youth behind him Lewis enrolled in graduate film school at the University of Southern California. Once out of USC he began work directing low budget video projects. But in 1989, Lewis landed his first professional job directing two episodes on the remake version of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series. From there he landed an almost regular job directing 11 episodes of the Saturday morning children’s show The Adventures of Superboy. A corporate project for BC Hydro brought him to the attention of a producer who hired him to direct several episodes of the award-winning series, North of 60. With a substantial amount of experience behind the camera, Lewis directed his first feature film, Whale Music in 1994. An adaptation of the Paul Quarrington novel, Lewis not only directed, but also co-wrote the screenplay with Quarrington. The film wasn’t a commercial success, and some critics were tough on the it, but it gained a sort of cult status with those people who liked it. In 1997, Lewis directed an episode of the Canadian television series Due South, created by Paul Haggis. Lewis returned to Los Angeles where his career finally took off. He started directing a lot of high-end television, which led to a chance to direct the fourth episode of CSI. Then he was given another episode later that year. In the second season, he directed six episodes and became an in-house director on the series. On the third season, Lewis became a producer and began writing some episodes. By the time the fifth or sixth season started he was the executive producer. In all he produced 49 episodes of CSI and directed 45 over the nine seasons he was with the series.