He was a director and cameraman for a television documentary series called â€œConfidential Fileâ€ in Los Angeles before getting his first movie break in 1958 when Roger Corman hired him to shoot a low-budget feature called â€œStakeout on Dope Street.â€
He went on to direct a number of noted features in the 1960s and 1970s, including â€œA Fine Madnessâ€ with Sean Connery, Joanne Woodward and Jean Seberg, â€œThe Flim-Flam Manâ€ with George C. Scott, â€œLovingâ€ with George Segal and Eva Marie Saint, and â€œThe Eyes of Laura Marsâ€ with Faye Dunaway.
The 1976 television movie â€œRaid on Entebbeâ€ earned him an Emmy nomination for direction.
Besides â€œEmpire,â€ his big-budget work included the 1983 James Bond movie â€œNever Say Never Againâ€ with Connery and â€œRobocop 2â€ in 1990.
Kershner also was an occasional actor. He played the priest Zebedee in Martin Scorsese's â€œThe Last Temptation of Christ.â€
He also was a faculty member at the University of Southern California.
AP Entertainment writer Alicia Quarles in New York and AP writer Angela Doland in Paris contributed to this report.