Legendary TV director GREG GARRISON has died of pneumonia in his Los Angeles home. He was 81.

After growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Garrison joined the Army Air Force during World War II and spent time in a German prisoner-of-war camp.

Upon returning to America, Garrison got his big break directing YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS in 1950.

As well as directing THE MILTON BERLE SHOW and FORD TELEVISION THEATRE, Garrison took charge of TV specials starring Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, LUCILLE BALL and Bob Newhart.

Garrison directed Orson Welles, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald on CELEBRITY ROASTS.

Funnyman DOM DeLUISE, who was a frequent guest on Garrison's THE DEAN MARTIN SHOW, laments, "Greg was the man who said, 'Just go for it. I trust you.' You just listened as he told you what the plan was, and it was great.

"I'm sure he's directing all the angels in heaven, saying, 'One voice - mine.'"

Garrison directed the landmark 1960 presidential debate between JOHN F Kennedy and RICHARD NIXON.

He died on 25 March (05) in a Los Angeles suburb and is survived by his wife JUDY.

04/04/2005 09:15