Persian pride pulsated through UCLA’s Royce Hall on Sunday night as members of the Iranian-American community honored director Reza Badiyi for his 80th birthday and his 60th year in the entertainment industry. Badiyi has directed more than 430 hours of television, believed by many to be the most in the history of the medium.
Iranian actors and friends hailed the veteran director for his kindness, his skill and energy. At the same time, they turned the 3 1/2-hour event into a celebration of Iranian culture, performing songs and love poems in Farsi and English.
“This man really cares about actors,” said Lou Ferrigno, star of “The Incredible Hulk,” eight episodes of which Badiyi directed. Actors from “Falcon Crest” expressed similar statements, as did Earl Hamner, the show’s creator.
Badiyi also directed episodes of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” In a taped message, Edward Asner, who played news director Lou Grant, wished Badiyi an even longer career. “The business is already in deep ca-ca,” he joked. “So what more damage can he do?”