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William F. Claxton
Bill Claxton High Chapparal
William F. Claxton (shown here on the set of "High Chapparal") directed a total of 57 episodes of "Bonanza".
Biographical information
Full Name: See below
Birthname William F. Claxton
Occupation: TV/Film Producer / Director / Film Editor
Years active: 1940-1988
Gender: Male
Race/Ethnicity: American/Caucasian
Born: (1914-10-22)October 22, 1914
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: February 11, 1996(1996-02-11) (aged 81)
Place of Death: Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Family/Relatives: ????
Series: Bonanza (TV series)
Role/Involvement with series: Director
No. of episodes/
or appearances:
57 episodes, in Seasons 1-14
Character played/Appeared as: None / N/A

William F. Claxton (born October 22, 1914 - died February 11, 1996) was a California born director who directed many episodes of Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie, of which he also served aa an executive producer. He also served as co-executive producer of the 1988 NBC-TV movie Bonanza: The Next Generation.


William started out as a film editor with Edward Small Productions in 1940. Claxton's first directorial effort was 1951's All That I Can Have. He spent much of the 1950s with 20th Century-Fox's Regal Pictures subsidiary, turning out such worthwhile medium-budget efforts as God is My Partner (1956) and Desire in the Dust (1960); occasionally, as in the cast of Rockabilly Baby (1957), he produced as well as directed.

Though his film credits are extensive, he is best known for his TV work, beginning with his producer/director stint on the religious anthology This is the Life (1951-1980). A favorite of the late Michael Landon, Claxton directed Landon in such weekly TVers as Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Father Murphy and Highway to Heaven. William also directed the feature-length series pilot TV film Bonanza: The Next Generation (1988).

Claxton was also a producer for The High Chaparral for its' first two seasons, as he also directed a total of 22 episodes during the course of the series, twice as many as the next most prolific HC director, Leon Benson.

Selected Bonanza Episodes:[]

Year Title Role Notes
1967 Ponderosa Explosion Director Written by Alex Sharp
Year Title Role Notes
1972 The Bucket Dog Director Written by John Hawkins
Year Title Role Notes
1973 The Marriage of Theodora Duffy Director Written by Ward Hawkins
Year Title Role Notes
1988 Bonanza: The Next Generation Director Written by David Dortort

External links[]