A prolific and much-praised director for television for nearly three decades, Lesli Linka Glatter helmed episodes of some of the most popular and critically acclaimed series of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, including "ER" (NBC 1994-2009), "The West Wing" (NBC 1999-2006), "Mad Men" (AMC 2007-15) and "Homeland" (Showtime 2011- ). After making her debut in the director's chair with the Oscar-nominated short "Tales of Meeting and Parting" (1985), Glatter's talent for powerful visual storytelling and skill with lengthy dialogue sequences was honed under the tutelage of such filmmakers as David Lynch and Steven Spielberg, who hired her to oversee episodes of their own TV efforts like "Twin Peaks" (ABC 1990-1991) and "Amazing Stories" (NBC 1985-1987). By the 1990s, Glatter was a director of choice for major series like "NYPD Blue" (ABC 1993-2005) and cult favorites like "Freaks and Geeks" (NBC 1990-1991) alike. She also dabbled in feature films, scoring a modest hit with the coming-of-age drama "Now and Then" (1994), but the majority of her work remained on the small screen. In 2009, Glatter earned Emmy and Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award nominations for an episode of "Mad Men" and a second DGA nod for a finely calibrated exercise in tension on "Homeland." Glatter's extraordinary body of work made her one of the most celebrated television directors of the late 20th century and beyond.
Born in 1953, Glatter began her entertainment career in modern dance, first as a dancer and later as a choreographer on a variety of projects, including William Friedkin's "To Live and Die in L.A." (1985). She then shifted her focus to directing, which she initially pursued through the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women. Her first short film, "Tales of Meeting and Parting" (1985), which was co-directed and produced by video director Sharon Oreck, was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Short Film, Live Action, and launched the second phase of her career in earnest. Glatter soon found steady work directing episodic television like "Twin Peaks," which earned her a 1991 Directors Guild of America Award nomination in 1991, and "NYPD Blue," as well as made-for-TV features like the ACE Award-nominated "Into the Homeland" (1987) for HBO. In 1994, she made her debut as a feature film director with the nostalgic drama "Now and Then" for star/producer Demi Moore. The picture, which co-starred Melanie Griffith, Rosie O'Donnell and Rita Wilson, became a perennial favorite on home video and television rebroadcasts.
Glatter returned to feature filmmaking in 1998 with "The Proposition," a sudsy drama with William Hurt, Madeleine Stowe and Neil Patrick Harris as three sides of a turbulent love triangle and Kenneth Branagh as a Boston area priest, but critics and viewers largely dismissed the picture. She subsequently returned to episodic television, directing two of the best episodes of "Freaks and Geeks" and multiple episodes of such critical and viewer favorites as "ER," "Gilmore Girls" (The WB 2000-2007) and "The West Wing." Between these assignments, Glatter also lent her talents to lesser-known or short-lived properties as "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (NBC 2006) and "The Starter Wife" (USA 2008), and marked her first turn as producer on "Citizen Baines" (CBS 2001), a political drama with James Cromwell that only aired six episodes before its abrupt cancellation.
After two decades as a director for television, Glatter scored her first Emmy nomination with a 2009 episode of "Mad Men." The episode, "Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency," which focused on major personal and professional changes for Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and the staff at Sterling-Cooper from the birth of a new baby to an accidental mutilation with a riding mower. The episode also netted Glatter her first Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series while also leading to more high-profile assignments, including "The Mentalist" (CBS 2008-15) and "The Good Wife" (CBS 2009-16). Glatter also expanded her producer's c.v. with the dramas "Chicago Code" (Fox 2011) and "The Playboy Club" (NBC 2011), though neither series survived a full season. She quickly rebounded with key episodes of major programs like "Pretty Little Liars" (ABC Family 2010- ), "True Blood" (HBO 2008-14) and "The Walking Dead" (AMC 2010- ). In 2013, Glatter received her second Primetime Emmy nomination and second DGA nomination for Outstanding Director for "Q&A," an episode of the Showtime series "Homeland." The episode, which hinged on a lengthy interrogation scene featuring troubled CIA agent Claire Danes and suspected terrorist Damian Lewis, was widely praised for Glatter's skill at transforming a two-person scene heavy with dialogue into an exercise in carefully executed suspense. Following this high water mark, Glatter returned to her status as one of television's most in-demand directors with episodes of "The Newsroom" (HBO 2012-14), "Ray Donovan" (Showtime 2013- ) and "Masters of Sex" (Showtime 2013- ).
Director (Feature Film)
Dance (Feature Film)
Director (TV Mini-Series)
Directorial debut with Oscar-nominated live action short "Tales of Meeting and Parting"
First television directing assignments for Steven Spielberg on "Amazing Stories"
First Directors Guild of America award nomination for "Twin Peaks" (ABC, 1990-1991)
Feature film debut in "Now and Then"
First of 13 episodes for "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009
Second feature film, "The Proposition"
Debut as producer on "Citizen Baines" (CBS)
Directors Guild Award win, Emmy nomination for "Mad Men" (AMC, 2007- )
Directors Guild nomination for "Homeland" (Showtime, 2011- )