Celebrated television director and producer James L. Widdoes '72 will deliver the Commencement address at Loomis Chaffee on Sunday, May 26.
Widely considered one of today's top directors in television comedy, Jamie is the series director of the highly acclaimed CBS series Mom which is heading into its seventh season. To date, his resume includes directing credits on 74 television series and TV movies, including multiple episodes of the CBS hit sitcom Two and a Half Men; the Fox series 'Til Death; TBS's sitcom The Bill Engvall Show; and ABC's 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.
Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jamie was a four–year boarding student at Loomis. His activities on the Island included soccer, lacrosse, and tennis as well as productions in the Norris Ely Orchard Theater. After graduation, Jamie studied for a year at Skidmore College before heading to New York University, where he honed his acting talent in the BFA program.
Jamie started his career as an actor and is well-known for his early role as fraternity president Robert Hoover in the 1978 film National Lampoon's Animal House, one of the most popular comedy films of all time. He went on to act in other films and on numerous television series, including starring in the first season of the popular CBS comedy Charles in Charge. He received the Theater World Award for his performance in Is There Life After High School on Broadway in 1982.
After a shift to directing, Jamie teamed up from 1993 to 2000 with former network and studio executive Jonathan Axelrod to form Axelrod/Widdoes Productions, where the two developed and executive produced Dave's World for CBS, Brother's Keeper for ABC, and Can't Hurry Love for CBS.
While enjoying a long and successful career in the entertainment industry, Jamie has remained connected to Loomis Chaffee as a member of reunion committees, as host of alumni and admission receptions in Los Angeles, and as a member of the Loomis Chaffee Board of Trustees since 2004. He currently serves as one of the Board's vice chairmen.
It is not unusual to see Jamie joining in student activities when he is on campus for Board of Trustee events, and he has contributed his light-hearted charm to video appeals for gifts to the Annual Fund and other school fundraising campaigns. He is looking forward to celebrating this year's graduating class.