Rick Hauser, Producer, Director, Writer

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From Nancy Hauser via Caring Bridge

rahformal1Rick died last night, Thursday April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in our bed at home…

The funeral will be held at Mount Zion on Wednesday afternoon, April 13 at 2:30 PM and Shiva Wednesday night at 7:30 PM. Both the service and the Shiva will be Zoomed…

Thank you all for being part of this journey with us. Your love, support, deep caring, and concern made it possible for us to get through this hardest time in our lives.  And your stories about Rick were what kept him going through these dark days.  He has now “Gone Home.” Bless you all…


From

Rick’s time at WGBH was marked by some of the most beloved how-tos, and some of the most adventurous and artistically interesting programs we’ve ever produced. Nancy Mason, who Rick later married, was supervising our dance projects at the time as part of The WGBH New Television Workshop, also a high point in the contemporary arts on public TV. I feel privileged to have had both Rick and Nancy working with me in our department.

Rick’s passing brings back to me his shows such as Making Things Grow, Maggie and the Beautiful Machine, Walsh’s Animals, Eye to Eye, The Scarlet Letter, Feasting with Panthers, and more. As one of the staff members of Godspell turned to me and remarked after our screening for them of Rick’s special, Godspell Goes to Plymouth Plantation for Thanksgiving with Henry Steele Commanger, “Now that was a three chill show!!” There’s no doubt Rick knew how to create a three chill impact.


From

I always felt that Rick’s show Nine Heroes was really special. He was able to take these amazing people, portray their stories, not with gross accomplishments but with their humanity… even sometimes with humor. That was important and as a viewer a confirmation of my humanity… strength with dignity.


From CV at Acadmia.edu

downloadRick Hauser’s career has been characterized by innovation and the creation of original formats to present arts, culture and social issues in ways that build audiences. His early work was a staple of public television programming and the mainstay of many of the network’s new stations…

While at WGBH/Boston, Hauser was credited with many of that station’s most acclaimed cultural and informational specials, winning public television’s highest honors: Awards for GOD-SPELL Goes to Plimoth Plantation for Thanksgiving with Henry Steele Commanger and the unpredictable art series, ; an N.E.T. Award for CITY/ Motion/Space/Game; and a Gabriel Award and Emmy nomination for Nine Heroes.

Hauser’s experimental and other broadcast work was the subject of many national articles. NEWSWEEK counted him among the “ video pioneers.”

Hauser’s four-part adaptation of Hawthorne’s classic, The Scarlet Letter, was hailed by television critics across the nation as “an American masterpiece” and “an authentic electronic masterwork” and also provoked the shortest, most pungent review ever given by PEOPLE Magazine. The mini-series remains among PBS’ “all-time most watched” dramas and received an Emmy for videotape editing.

Hauser’s direction of another romantic drama, TrinityRep’s Feasting with Panthers still stands as a daring and innovative example of television theatrical adaptation at its best. - re-broadcast the drama in a 25-year retrospective of the station’s finest programs.

Hauser was also a pioneer in the emerging area of “how-to” programs, producing such public television classics as Making Things Grow (Thalassa Cruso), Maggie & The Beautiful Machine! (Maggie Lettvin), Erica! (Erica Wilson) (format & design only), Walsh’s Animals (John Walsh) and many others. This type of program was often the central component of audience-building campaigns for public television stations around the country….

Educated in the United States [Yale College, with thesis honors] and France [the Sorbonne], Hauser received the United States/United Kingdom Bicentennial Artists’ Exchange Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the British Arts Council. He holds an MFA in radio/television and film from Ohio University…

Hauser is married to dance/video producer, Nancy Mason Hauser. The Hausers have two children, Hannah and Noah. The family lives in a 100-year-old house in Saint Paul, Minnesota with their Maine Coon cat, Ashaahidu (“Witness” in Arabic).


From Rabbi Esther Adler via Caring Bridge

Rick embodied each of his many roles fully and with panache, which is remarkable because some of the roles were quite the opposite of one another.

While he was the epitome of the gentleman scholar, an erudite man living the life of the mind, he was also playful and boyish, which made him adored by the schoolchildren where he volunteered. He loved oysters and Dairy Queen, Old Saabs, and new gadgets. He loved all things innovative and avant garde, yet was deeply sentimental about family heirlooms and a stickler for historical accuracy.

He could be stubborn and driven, but at the same time sincerely interested and curious about the opinions of others. Though he never wanted to become Jewish because he felt it would be an affront to his family of origin, he was always learning about Judaism, was very supportive of Nancy’s Jewish identity and commitment to the synagogue community.

Read more at Caring Bridge

8 Comments

  1. Jay Collier on April 14, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    From Rabbi Esther Adler:

    Rick embodied each of his many roles fully and with panache, which is remarkable because some of the roles were quite the opposite of one another.

    While he was the epitome of the gentleman scholar, an erudite man living the life of the mind, he was also playful and boyish, which made him adored by the schoolchildren where he volunteered. He loved oysters and Dairy Queen, Old Saabs, and new gadgets. He loved all things innovative and avant garde, yet was deeply sentimental about family heirlooms and a stickler for historical accuracy.

    He could be stubborn and driven, but at the same time sincerely interested and curious about the opinions of others. Though he never wanted to become Jewish because he felt it would be an affront to his family of origin, he was always learning about Judaism, was very supportive of Nancy’s Jewish identity and commitment to the synagogue community.

    Read more at Caring Bridge: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/rickhauser/journal/view/id/62573b1d083fdc0c047a63b1

  2. Chris Gilbert on April 10, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    Rick’s passing is very sad news.

    Eye-To-Eye, the ten part series on the arts co-produced with the Museum of Fine Arts, was my first job at WGBH. I was completing graduate school at BU. Rick and Joan (Wilson) Sullivan, his Associate Producer, were swamped with minutiae on Eye-To-Eye with no budget for a Production Assistant. I volunteered to what became a full time daytime endeavor while finishing up a thesis at night. I earned a credit for hours of unpaid work. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my broadcast career and has left me with many fond memories of Rick and Joan.

    Rick had an extraordinary endurance for hard work. I saw him spend many all-nighters writing extensive scripts for the next day’s shoot. The following day he would repeat again. His energy and brilliance was an unending well that inspired all of us who worked for and around him.

    His influence as my first of many wonderful ‘GBH mentors has stayed with me throughout these many passing years. My condolences to Nancy who shared her life with this brilliant man.

  3. Austin Hoyt on April 10, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Rick and Nancy’s temple in St. Paul did a long article on Rick’s life. I never knew he had such a variety of interests and talents. Here is the link https://mzion.org/homz-blog/rick/

  4. Bob Nesson on April 9, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    Rick was a warm and embracing presence and an encouraging supporter of my own efforts. He was open to ideas and willing to engage, for a minute or an hour. His passing reminds me of the rich creative environment of his time at Western Ave.

  5. Dave DeBarger on April 9, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    I had the very great pleasure of working with Rick on Making Things Grow, Maggie and the Beautiful Machine, Walsh’s Animals and others. When I left WGBH we were collaborating on the WGBH Quiz Show Unit. He was a special talent, and a good friend. Rest peacefully, Rick.

  6. Harriet Reisen on April 9, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    Rick was a dear and demanding colleague (especially of himself) and I enjoyed his company immensely. When I suggested the talented and lovely Nancy Mason for his PA I had an inkling they’d fall in love. If you go to Caring Bridge and read the posts she wrote and he edited at the end you will learn what a great love and marriage and life it turned out to be for them. RIP Rick, and Nancy I know will go on in the great valiant spirit you have shown these last days.

  7. Chas Norton on April 9, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    The phrases ‘Renaissance Man’ and ‘boundary spanner’ jump out at me immediately.

    I found him always the best and the brightest.

    He was a wonderful colleague and friend.
    Hopefully some of his works can be re-aired to remind all of the breadth of his talent.

    • Paula Apsell on April 9, 2022 at 5:42 pm

      I was Rick’s PA for some of Nine Heroes and other shows. He gave me a chance to learn about TV production and he taught me a great deal. He was a talented, vibrant, and very kind man.

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