Donald Staples | Department of Media Arts

Donald Staples

Emeritus Professor
Film history & criticism, acting, screen writing, directing
Donald Staples

Donald E. Staples is Professor Emeritus of Film and Television at the University of North Texas. He was a professor at New York University, Vassar College, and The Ohio State University where he taught film history and criticism, film production, feature film screen writing, the documentary film, and Japanese film. Dr. Staples holds the Master of Arts degree from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television, and the Bachelor's and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the School of Speech at Northwestern University.

He is a past president of both the Society for Cinema Studies and the University Film and Video Association. He often represents the United States at overseas film festivals and as a delegate to the International Congresses of Schools of Film and Television (CILECT).

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Staples has known both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. He and his wife make their home in Denton. They have four grown children and travel around the United States to visit them. Dr. Staples is an avid sailor and golfer with plaques and paraphernalia in his home to attest to the fact. While at Northwestern University he was on the varsity fencing team. Some of his time is spent acting in television commercials, industrial films, and on stage. He has been an actor since he was 11-years-old and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists. Staples co-authored the book Film Encounter with R. Hector Currie and is in the process of finishing a book on the films of John Huston, whom he considers one of America's greatest directors. He worked with Huston on Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, directing the background action behind Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum during the final scenes.

Editor/contributor, American Film. Co-author, Film Encounter. Critic, Films in Review. Life Member, University Film and Video Foundation. Past president of the Society for Cinema Studies and the University Film and Video Association. Former officer of the National Association for the Arts in Education, Centre International des Ecole de Cinema et de Television (CILECT). Professional writer, director, actor in film and television. Consultant to National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, American Film Institute, publishers, attorneys, and university systems. Film festival judge.