As the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards premieres Monday, a Palm Desert transplant is showing off his golden statues; seventeen to be exact.
Harry Kooperstein, a producer, director and creator, knew from the beginning he had a knack for television.
“I looked technically to see what was good or what was bad and I’d see things,” he said. “Things other people wouldn’t see.”
Before television, Kooperstein would watch projections at movie theaters. When television came around, he began to critique the technical methods.
The director’s shelves at his Palm Desert home are filled with awards, memorabilia, and seventeen Emmy awards, making it obvious he had a golden career.
His journey began at a local news station in Columbus, Ohio where he was hired as a prop boy. It wasn’t long before Kooperstein worked his way up to a director position in Indianapolis, which lead him to meet a young weatherman, who now, is a household name.
“One time we were watching the Bishop and Regis show and he looked over at me and he said ‘you know, one of these days, I’m gonna do a show like this,” he said. “His name is Letterman.”
That’s right, David Letterman. Kooperstein would go on to meet several Hollywood stars, most stemming from his work as director and producer of Live from the Hollywood Bowl, where he channeled his ear for music from his days as a band member at Ohio State.
His accomplishments range from eight Emmy’s for Live From the Hollywood Bowl with hosts that included Carol Burnett, Tyne Daly and Alex Trebeck, five Emmy’s as outstanding Director of Live Special Events, two for Awards of Excellence and two more for Outstanding Non-News Director.
During a tribute to Natalie Wood, he came to know Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles and Christopher Plummer. The tribute was one of his proudest accomplishments, he said.
His message for young people aspiring to make it “big”:
“You’ve got to be surrounded by extremely talented and gifted people and I was lucky to have that.”
Confidence is what make dreams come true, he said.