HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The American Film Institute will honor six members of a special Hollywood family at its fourth Platinum Circle Award banquet Oct. 1.
This year's accolade is for two remarkably talented parents and their four offspring, all of whom have become an integral part of the movie-TV industry. They are the Petrie Family, whose names are familiar to moviegoers and TV viewers who take time to read the credits at the beginning and conclusion of movies, TV shows and mini-series.
The Petries join the Fonda family (Henry, Jane, Peter, Bridget and Troy Garity); the Reynolds/Fisher tribe, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher; and the Matthau clan (Walter, Carol and Charles) in this AFI tribal series.
The Petrie family, unlike the previous three familial honorees, is not blatantly visible to the public. They seldom are seen on-screen or on TV talk shows. But they are formidable contributors to the industry as directors, producers and writers, although two of their members are or have been actors.
The paterfamilias of the gifted clan is Daniel Petrie, Sr., who has directed more than 70 feature films, TV movies and series over the past six decades. Among his film credits: "Fort Apache the Bronx," "Resurrection," "A Raisin in the Sun" and "The Idol."
Additionally, the TV series: "Hec Ramsey," "McMillan & Wife,"
"Marcus Welby, M.D," "Ironside" and "The Nurses" ... to name but a few.
Petrie still is in demand; his recent TV films include last year's "Wild Iris" and "Walter and Henry."
Dorothea, his wife of some 50 years, is the distinguished producer of 15 TV movies, most recent of which was "Song of the Lark" (2000). Dorothea wrote and produced a brilliant TV film titled "Orphan Train" in 1979, making her one of the most in-demand producers in the industry.
Since then she as produced such hits as "Foxfire," "License to Kill," "Crash Landing: The Rescue of Flight 232," "Secrets" and "The Face on the Milk Carton."
The Petries are the parents of two sons, Daniel Jr. (a writer-director) and Donald (a director and former actor). Their twin daughters June (a producer) and Mary (an actress and producer) are busy at their trades.
The Petries support each other's individual careers and dreams. Although somewhat spread out in southern California, the family is close-knit and spends holidays together. They share a common professional approach to their work and a respect for the movie/TV milieu.
The family is refreshingly self-effacing and modest. They enjoy frequent get-togethers to chat about offspring and individual family activities; not show biz.
Said Daniel, Sr. on the eve of the AFI associates luncheon in Beverly Hills, "It makes me very proud indeed to see my family's names on screen credits, knowing how hard and well they work.
"The old buttons come popping off the vest, and I believe in nepotism, although I must say we all work independently."
Petrie said he doesn't believe that there's a special genetic creativity code in family dynasties so much as an environmental equation.
"One of our little grandchildren is very gifted in writing," he said proudly. "She's only 11 but during recess she goes to the library. I have a notion she will become a really good writer."
Son Donald says: "There was only one steadfast rule in our house: 'No professional acting until you're out of high school! Don't even ask.'
"I got into drama at age 12 in junior high and high school and summer camps. Now my children follow the same rule.
"I'm a director-director. My bother Dan is the writer-director who did 'Beverly Hills Cop.' I tell people it was mine, but they catch on fast. We claim each other's credits for laughs."
Of his sons, patriarch Petrie said: "I had one son (Dan Jr.) who read 10,000 books and another son (Donald) who read the same book 10,000 times -- 'The Lord of the Rings.'
"The family doesn't work together, which I think explains why my parents have one of the longest marriages in Hollywood," Donald said.
Currently Donald is directing the film "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" for Paramount.
"I hope to have a career that will live up to my parents' quality, longevity, diversity and character."
Matriarch Dorothea, smiling, said: "We never encouraged our children to pursue careers in entertainment, including our seven grandchildren; the oldest is only 13. The important thing is we all enjoy our work and we help out if we're asked.
"The children are really nice people; we like and enjoy each other. It's a real life, you know."
Sounds like the Petries might be the basis of a nifty new family TV series themselves.