In an environment where less than ten percent of dramas on television are directed by women, Bethany Rooney has enjoyed a long and esteemed career. She has directed over one hundred and fifty episodes of prime-time network shows, including Scandal, Political Animals, Private Practice, Switched at Birth, 90210, Hart of Dixie, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, Castle, and Private Practice. For cable television, she has directed In Plain Sight, Weeds, and Drop Dead Diva. She began her directing career on the 1980’s iconic television show, St. Elsewhere, where she had served as associate producer.
She has also directed eight television movies, including three Danielle Steel adaptations for NBC. Her movies have earned reviews such as the following from Variety: “Bethany Rooney’s sensitive direction makes for some vivid and understated moments,” and the Hollywood Reporter noted her “carefully paced and involving direction (featuring) magnificent acting.” She has directed Oscar winners and contenders Denzel Washington, Hilary Swank, Mary Tyler Moore, Angela Bassett, George Clooney, Alfre Woodard, Felicity Huffman, Sally Field, and Robert Downey Jr., among many others.
Ms. Rooney also wrote the television movie “Absolution” which aired on Lifetime Television.
Ms. Rooney graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a masters’ degree. She taught directing at UCLA Extension and numerous acting workshops in the LA area, most recently through Steppenwolf Theatre West. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and has served on several committees for the Directors Guild of America.
Ms. Rooney lives with her husband and son in Los Angeles.
Products by Bethany Rooney
Directors Tell the Story: Master the Craft of Television ...
by Bethany Rooney, Mary Lou Belli
|Getting on the Same Page: Writers and Directors Interface by Bethany Rooney, Mary Lou Belli|
|Razor Writing: Making Your Intentions Clear by Bethany Rooney|
Articles by Bethany Rooney
Q: I can “see” the movie in my head as I write it. Why can’t the director see it too?
A: You’ve heard of “the director’s vision”? The director CAN see the film before a single frame is shot, but since he or she is a unique individual, as are you, there is no way that your vision can be the same. We each come to a project with... (read more)