From its inception, WGBH and the many talented people who work here have blazed a trail of innovation and none more brightly than WGBH creator, producer and director Russell Morash. Under Morash’s watchful eye, iconic shows such as This Old House, The French Chef with Julia Child, Victory Garden, and The New Yankee Workshop became the foundation for a new genre of television programming. Visionary and ground-breaking when they premiered, these award-winning WGBH how-to shows continue to inspire new generations of do-it-yourselfers.
WGBH congratulates Morash on his well-deserved 2018 induction into the Massachusetts Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame.
A native of Lexington, Massachusetts, Russell Morash received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Boston University in 1957, training as a theater director. He joined the WGBH staff that same year, and, in 1958, was made a producer/director—a hands-on role he's embraced ever since.
In 1963, Morash teamed up with a budding cookbook author with an unmistakable accent and a marvelous sense of humor to create The French Chef with Julia Child. For the next 30 years Morash and Child created a number of cooking classics for television, which continue to represent the gold standard of that genre.
Morash went on to work with Jim Crockett to begin Crockett's Victory Garden, later The Victory Garden, in 1975. The televised gardening adventure continued for 30 years until Russ hung up his trowel in 2003. Another well-known chef joined Morash for the show: his wife, Marian Morash. A self-taught cook turned James Beard Award-winning chef, Marian Morash appeared on The Victory Garden as Chef Marian, while also serving as the executive chef on Child’s shows. She established the Women's Culinary Guild before co-founding the Straight Wharf Restaurant in Nantucket, where she was also the executive chef, overseeing an all-women kitchen; a rarity in the mid-1970s.
While remodeling his own home in 1976, Morash, whose forebears were carpenters and shipwrights, conceived the idea of a home renovation show, and This Old House was born. The first 13-week This Old House series, featuring the renovation of a Victorian home in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, set a new ratings record for WGBH when it was broadcast locally in 1979. The series aired nationally on PBS the following season and quickly became a perennial favorite.
Morash stepped down as executive producer and director of This Old House and its addition Ask This Old House in 2004, having also served as executive producer and director of The New Yankee Workshop, which featured the craftsmanship of host Norm Abram, from 1989 through 2009.
Along the way, Morash has accumulated 14 national Emmy Awards, including 11 for "Outstanding Director of a Service Show." He is also a "fellow" of the National Association of Garden Writers and has been honored with the prestigious George Robert White Medal for 2005 by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
Russ lives with his wife, Marian, in an 1851 farmhouse they restored 30 years ago.
This Old HouseThis Old House, with pros Norm Abram, Tom Silva, Richard Trethewey, Roger Cook, and host Kevin O'Connor, is TV's original home-improvement show, following one whole-house renovation over several episodes.
Ask This Old HouseAsk This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers.
The French Chef with Julia ChildIn this special collection in PBS Passport, now chefs of all ages and abilities can share Julia Child’s love of authentic French food.
The Victory GardenFrom the garden to the kitchen, get the latest tips, solutions and recipes on going green.
Morash and Child discuss the art of editing videotape in this spoof, which was created for a WGBH holiday party.
Jim Crockett talks about houseplants in this 1978 episode of Crockett's Victory Garden. Morash directed the show for 30 years.
In this early episode of This Old House, directed by Morash, the team works on an abandoned summertime estate that was originally built by famed American architect H. H. Richardson.