George Waggner

George Waggner (September 7, 1894 – December 11, 1984) was an actor, director, producer and writer. He is best known for directing Lon Chaney Jr. in the 1941 film The Wolf Man.

George Waggner
Born(1894-09-07)September 7, 1894
DiedDecember 11, 1984(1984-12-11) (aged 90)[1]
OccupationFilm actor, director, screenwriter
Years active1920-1963


Born in New York City, he trained as a chemist and served in World War I before coming to Hollywood to pursue a career as an actor.[2] He made his film debut as an actor portraying Yousayef in The Sheik (1921). He later went on to appearances in Western films. The first film he directed was Western Trails (1938). During his career as a film director, he worked with John Wayne (The Fighting Kentuckian), Lon Chaney Jr. (Man Made Monster and his most famous film, The Wolf Man), Brian Donlevy and Broderick Crawford (South of Tahiti), Randolph Scott (Gunfighters) and Boris Karloff (The Climax). Though primarily known for his horror films today, Waggner also directed many Westerns, Action films, and War films.

During his career as a film director, he also wrote songs which appeared in his films, beginning with "Round, White, and Ruby Red" from Operation Pacific.[3] By the end of his career, he had written over 100 songs.[1]

In the 1960s, he moved from cinema to television, directing episodes of the television series Maverick, Batman, The Green Hornet, 77 Sunset Strip and The Man from U.N.C.L.E..

In 1957 he directed Red Nightmare, a Cold War propaganda film produced by the Department of Defense and narrated by Jack Webb.

For some unknown reason, Waggner sometimes configured his name in mostly lowercase letters but with his surname's two Gs capitalized ("waGGner"), including in the credits of some of the productions he directed.[4][2]

Personal life

Waggner's wife was Danny Shannon. The couple had only one child, Shy, born in 1924, and two grandchildren, Sherry and Robert. He died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California on December 11, 1984 at the age of 90.[1]



Waggner also directed the following films/episodes made for television

  • The Sword of Villon (1956)
  • Destination Nightmare (1958)
  • Jack the Ripper (1958)
  • The Veil (1958)
  • 77 Sunset Strip ("Canien Caper" - 1959)
  • 77 Sunset Strip ("The Left Field Caper" - 1963, stylized as "george waGGner")





  1. "Deaths Elsewhere: George Waggner". Toledo Blade. Toledo, Ohio: John Robinson Block. 12 December 1984. p. 26. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  2. Quinlan, David (December 1, 1983). The Illustrated Guide to Film Directors. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 308. ISBN 978-0389204084.
  3. "Director-Author Turns Tunesmith". Toledo Blade. Toledo, Ohio: John Robinson Block. 28 January 1951. p. 26. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  4. "Batman" Louie, the Lilac (TV Episode 1967), retrieved 2017-07-19
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