Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 16th, 2006
Award-winning TV documentary writer-producer-director Nicholas Webster, died August 12, 2006, in Santa Monica after an extended illness. He was 94. His 1961 documentary “Walk in My Shoes” for the ABC Close Up about blacks in America was Emmy-nominated as the Show of the Year. He also directed documentaries for NBC (“David Brinkley’s Journal”) and CBS (“The Twentieth Century,” with Walter Cronkite.)
In terms of cryptozoology, Webster is best remembered for his documentary Manbeast: Myth or Monster. It is a 1978 documentary that explores the existence of Bigfoot, the Yeti and other legendary humanoid-type creatures. Produced by Alan Landsburg, Manbeast filmed in the Himalayas, Oregon, and Louisiana, covered 60,000 miles during their shooting schedule, and dramatized 12 stories, all of which showed different encounters with the unknown hominoids. Portrayals include the tales of two Nepalese tribesmen who were cooped up in a cave with a roaring, huge beast; the mysterious disappearance of a Washington skier, his erratic ski trails followed by large unknown snow prints and the invasion of a campsite in Honey Island, Louisiana. The story line also follows Peter Byrne, who plays himself as a self-styled monster hunter, obsessed with finding Abominable Snowmen and Bigfoot.
Webster furthermore directed, co-produced and wrote many of the original “In Search Of…” programs with host Leonard Nimoy and producer Landsburg, as well as doing the historical recreation segments of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.”
Webster honors were many and he had been an army cinematographer during World War II, a documentarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the war, and a commercial director in New York before returning to Hollywood in the 1960s. He was a former Board Member of the International Documentary Association.
Webster is survived by his wife Diana, son Lance, an entertainment publicist; and daughters Juliet and Cynthia.
Cryptomundo salutes the great works he completed and sends out sympathy to his family and friends.
For Nicholas Webster’s full non-cz obituary, please see Variety, August 15, 2006.