‘Lucy,’ ‘Bewitched’ producer Bill Asher took chance on TV (VIDEO)

Bill Asher directed 100 of 181 episodes of \'I Love Lucy\' between 1952 and 1957. (AP)

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WASHINGTON – The director and producer behind the television classics “I Love Lucy” and “Bewitched” has died. Bill Asher was 90.

His wife, Meredith, says he died Monday at a facility in Palm Desert, Calif., of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Asher was best known for his work on “I Love Lucy,” where he directed Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz for 100 of the show’s 181 episodes between 1952 and 1957.

In a four-hour interview with The Archive of American Television, conducted in 2000, Asher said when he began directing the situation comedy in 1952, few film directors were willing risk their reputations on the young medium.

“It wasn’t a mystery to me. It was pretty basic,” Asher said.

“It was a delight. We sailed through those six years.”

He also produced and directed “The Patty Duke Show” and “Bewitched,” which starred his then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery. Montgomery and Asher had three children together.

Asher brought Sally Field to TV screens in “Gidget,” and took the same sensibility to movies as director of the teen romps, “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “Beach Party,” starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. Follow Neal and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 WTOP and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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