HOLLYWOOD -- Film and television directors, in an award considered a harbinger of the upcoming Oscars, named Milos Forman Best Director of 1984 for his work on 'Amadeus,' the film biography of Mozart.
The Czech-born director, who won the Directors Award in 1975 for 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' was not present at the Beverly Hilton Hotel ceremony Saturday night but attended a simultaneous ceremony in New York City.
Forman had already won a Golden Globe for 'Amadeus,' presented by the Hollywood Foreign Film Association, and is considered the favorite for an Oscar on March 25 at the 57th annual Academy Awards.
Only twice in the Directors Guild of America's 37-year history has the winner of the DGA award failed to go on to win an Oscar.
Other nominees by the 7,000-member Directors Guild of America were newcomer Roland Joffe for 'The Killing Fields,' Robert Benton for 'Places in the Heart,' Norman Jewison for 'A Soldier's Story,' and David Lean for 'A Passage to India.'
The Directors Guild Award for best television dramatic show went to Thomas Carter for 'The Rise and Fall of Paul the Wall,' a segment from the NBC series 'Hill Street Blues.'
J. Sandrich was honored for best comedy direction for the pilot episode of the NBC hit 'The Bill Cosby Show.'
Don Mischer and Twyla Tharp won the directors award for the musical-variety of the year for 'Baryshikov by Tharp with American Ballet Theater.'
Best sports direction went to Sandy Grossman for 'Super Bowl XVIII,' and Joan Darling won for the best daytime drama, 'Mom's on Strike,' a segment of 'After School Special.'
The winner for best dramatic special was Daniel Petrie for 'The Doll Maker,' starring Jane Fonda as a farm widow who moves her family to Detroit.
Alfred R. Kelman won the award for best documentary-actuality for 'The Journey Within,' part of 'The Body Human' series on CBS.
Stu Hagmann won the commercial award for a McDonald's hamburger add.
The D.W. Griffith Award, given to an outstanding director for a body of work, was presented to Billy Wilder by one his favorite actors, Jack Lemmon.
The Robert Aldrich service award went to Elliot Silverstein and the Frank Capra Award for assistant director was won by Abby Singer.
The West Coast dinner-dance was attended by more 1,000 members of the Guild, relatives and friends.