Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Names are listed in alphabetical order by surname. Visit the IMDB and Wikipedia links for a full listing of their credits and other biographical information. View video interviews at the Archive of American Television links.
Composer Van Alexander worked on a number of sitcoms in the 1950s and 1960s. He died on July 19, 2015, of heart failure in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Alexander was 100.
Alexander's sitcom composing credits included The Mickey Rooney Show, The Donna Reed Show, The Farmer's Daughter, Hazel, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Dennis the Menace and The Second Hundred Years. He worked on The Brady Bunch Variety Hour in 1976-1977.
Howard A. Anderson, Jr. was a visual effects artist and cinematographer specializing in photographic effects, titles, and opticals. He died on September 27, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Anderson was 95.
Anderson created the title sequences for hundreds of the most popular television series produced between the early 1950s and late 1980s. He did The Brady Bunch, which featured the show's nine cast members in a tic-tac-toe board.
Other sitcom title sequences he worked on included The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, The Addams Family, The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Get Smart, My Favorite Martian, My Three Sons, That Girl, Happy Days and Cheers.
Actor, singer and female impersonator Jim Bailey appeared in over 70 television and movie roles. He died at his home in Los Angeles on May 30, 2015, from complications due to pneumonia. Mr. Bailey was 77.
Bailey appeared as Phyllis Diller in the 1972 Here's Lucy episode "Lucy and Jim Bailey." In 1985, he guest starred in the Night Court episode "Best of Friends" as Chip/Charlene, a college friend of Dan's (John Larroquette) who had undergone a sex change.
Some of his other television guest appearances included Switch, The Rockford Files, Vega$ and Ally McBeal. His many talk show/variety appearances included The Ed Sullivan Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Merv Griffin Show, Late Night with David Letterman and The Joan Rivers Show.
Television director, producer, and screenwriter Richard L. Bare directed virtually every episode of Green Acres. He died on March 28, 2015, at his home in Newport Beach, California. Mr. Bare was 101.
Bare directed 166 episodes of Green Acres from 1965-1971. His other sitcom directing credits included Beulah, The Donna Reed Show, Petticoat Junction and Nanny and the Professor.
Some of his television drama directing credits included Broken Arrow, 77 Sunset Strip, Maverick, Route 66, Cheyenne,The Twilight Zone, The Virginian, Lassie and Alias Smith and Jones.
George Barris was a designer and builder of many famous Hollywood custom cars, including the Munster Koach from The Munsters. He died on November 5, 2015, in his sleep at his home in Encino, California. Mr. Barris was 89.
Barris built the Munster Koach and casket turned dragster (the "Drag-U-La") for The Munsters. He turned a 1921 Oldsmobile touring car into a truck for The Beverly Hillbillies. He designed the fictional "1928 Porter" for the NBC sitcom My Mother the Car. Other custom cars he built included the Batmobile for Batman in 1966, the "striped tomato" Torino for Starsky and Hutch, and updated KITTs for later seasons of Knight Rider.
Actor Emory Bass was known for his role in Angie. He died died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California on March 4, 2015. Mr. Phipps was 89.
Bass had the recurring role of the Benson family butler Phipps in Angie in 1979-1980. The ABC sitcom starred Donna Pescow, Robert Hays, Doris Roberts, Debralee Scott, Sharon Spelman, John Randolph, Diane Robin and Tim Thomerson.
His sitcom guest appearances included The Tony Randall Show, A.E.S. Hudson Street, The Jeffersons, Three's Company, Three's Company, Silver Spoons, Webster and Mr. Belvedere. His television drama guest apperances included Dark Shadows, Kojak, Hart to Hart, Simon & Simon, Dynasty, Murder, She Wrote and Father Dowling Mysteries.
Actor James Best was best known for his starring role as bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in The Dukes of Hazzard. He died on April 6, 2015, in Hickory, North Carolina, from complications of pneumonia. Mr. Best 88.
Best played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane from the debut of the program in 1979 until the series ended in 1985. He voiced the character in the 1983 animated series The Dukes. He appeared in The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! TV movie in 1997.
His sitcom guest appearances included The People's Choice and The Andy Griffith Show (2 episodes as Jim Lindsey).
Actress Lynn Borden was best known for her role as Barbara Baxter in the final season of Hazel. She died on March 3, 2015, in Encino, California, following an extended illness. Ms. Borden was 77.
Borden joined the cast of Hazel for its final season when it moved to CBS in 1965-1966. Ray Fulmer played her husband, Steve Baxter.
Some of her other sitcom credits included The Dick Van Dyke Show, My Three Sons, Family Affair and Get Smart. Her drama guest appearances included The Fugitive, The F.B.I., Ironside, Mod Squad, McMillan & Wife, Police Story, Petrocelli, Starsky and Hutch, Fantasy Island, The Fall Guy and CSI: NY.
Character actor Ritch Brinkley played Carl Wishnitski in Murphy Brown. He died on November 5, 2015, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Mr. Brinkley was 71.
Brinkley played Carl Wishnitski, the burly cameraman who was infatuated with Murphy Brown, in Murphy Brown. He appeared in 28 episodes of the series from 1988-1997.
His sitcom guest appearances included Mama's Family, Night Court, 1st & Ten, Newhart, My Sister Sam, My Two Dads, Normal Life, Get a Life, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Thunder Alley (8 episodes as Walter), Something Wilder, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Malcom & Eddie, Weird Science and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
English actress Judy Carne starred in several sitcoms in the 1960s. She died from complications of pneumonia on September, 2015, at a hospital in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England. Ms. Carne was was 73.
Carne's first regular role was as Heather Finch in the 1962-1963 CBS sitcom Fair Exchange. She played an English teenager who goes to the U.S. to live with an American family whose daughter (played by Lynn Loring) has gone to live in England.
She appeared as Barbara Wynton, Commodore Cecil Wyntoon's (John Dehner) daughter, in the 1964-1965 sitcom The Baileys of Balboa. In 1966, she co-starred with Peter Duel in Love on a Rooftop.
Her sitcom guest appearances included Gidget, The Farmer's Daughter, The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie and Love, American Style. She was a regular performer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In from 1968-1970.
Actor, comedian and host Jack Carter guest starred in many sitcoms. He died on June 28, 2015, at his home in Beverly Hills, California, of respiratory failure. Mr. Carter was 93.
Carter was the first host of the variety series Cavalcade of Stars on the DuMont Network in 1949-1950. The show appeared under the banner of Saturday Night Revue, a package of two variety shows on a single evening. He hosted his own variety series titled The Jack Carter Show on NBC in 1950-1951.
He made more than 40 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Some of his other television appearances included Texaco Star Theatre, The Colgate Comedy Hour, Stage Show, The Jack Paar Tonight Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Dean Martin Show and The Merv Griffin Show.
Carter's sitcom guest appearances in the 1960s included Hennesey, Make Room for Daddy, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ensign O'Toole, The Joey Bishop Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mister Roberts, The Lucy Show, I Dream of Jeannie and Julia. His guest appearances in the 1970s included The Partners, Love, American Style, Bridget Loves Bernie, The Odd Couple, Big Eddie, Sanford and Son, The Love Boat, Carter Country and Archie Bunker's Place. He directed two episodes of Here's Lucy in 1971.
His later sitcom guest appearances included Gimme a Break!, Dream On, Kirk, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Something So Right, Living Single, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Just Shoot Me!, Parks and Recreation, New Girl, Rules of Engagement and Go On. He played Arthur Spooner in the original unaired pilot of The King of Queens, but he was replaced by Jerry Stiller and his scenes were re-shot.
Actor George Coe starred in the first season of Goodnight, Beantown and made many sitcom guest appearances. He died on July 18, 2015, after a long illness in Santa Monica, California. Mr. Coe was 86.
Coe played station manager Dick Novak in the first season of Goodnight, Beantown, which starred Bill Bixby, Mariette Hartley and Tracey Gold.
He had a recurring role as Peter Baines in Working in 1998-1999. Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Family Ties, The Golden Girls, Amen, Murphy Brown, Night Court, Home Improvement, The Nanny, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, Becker, The King of Queens, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Two and a Half Men. He starred as Ben Chevriot in the 1987 sci-fi series Max Headroom. He provided the voice of Woodhouse in Archer.
Actress Yvonne Craig was best known for her role as Batgirl in Batman. She died at her home in Pacific Palisades, California on August 17, 2015, from metastatic breast cancer that had spread to her liver. Ms. Craig was 78.
Craig's early television drama guest appearances included Perry Mason, Bronco, Mr. Lucky, Checkmate, The Detectives, 77 Sunset Strip, Dr. Kildare, Wagon Train, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, Ben Casey, The Big Valley and The Wild Wild West.
Some of her 1960s sitcom guest appearances included Hennesey, Peter Loves Mary, The Jim Backus Show, Margie, Ichabod and Me, The Gertrude Berg Show, I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, McHale's Navy and My Favorite Martian. She made five guest appearances in various roles as Dobie's (Dwayne Hickman) girlfriend in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis from 1959-1962.
She starred as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in the third and final season of Batman in 1967-1968. She was Commissioner Gordon's daughter who worked at the Gotham Library. As Batgirl she wore a purple and yellow outfit and rode a purple motorcycle with white lace. Burt Ward and Craig reunited as Robin and Batgirl for an 'Equal Pay' public service announcement in 1972.
Some of her later television drama guest appearances included It Takes a Thief, Mod Squad, Star Trek, Land of the Giants, Mannix, The Magician, Kojak, Emergency, The Six Million Dollar Man, Starsky and Hutch and Fantasy Island. Her other sitcom guest appearances included The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Good Guys, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Partners, Love, American Style and Holmes and Yo-Yo. She provided the voice of Grandma in the animated series Olivia from 2009-2011.
Actress Suzanne Crough was best known for her role as Tracy Partridge in The Partridge Family. She died on April 27, 2015, at her home in Laughlin, Nevada. The cause of death was arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, a rare form of cardiomyopathy. Ms. Crough was 52.
Crough starred as the youngest sibling Tracy Partridge, who played the tambourine in the band, in The Partridge Family. The popular series starred Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Jeremy Gelbwaks (season 1), Brian Forster (seasons 2-4) and Dave Madden. It ran four seasons on ABC from 1970-1974. She voiced the Tracy character in eight episodes of the animated series Goober and the Ghost Chasers and all episodes of Partridge Family 2200 A.D., which aired on CBS from 1974-1975. She was interviewed in the 2003 Biography special on The Partridge Family. In 2010, she reunited with several co-stars on NBC's Today.
Her other starring role was as Stevie Freedman in the 1977 NBC comedy-drama Mulligan's Stew. The short-lived series starred Lawrence Pressman, Elinor Donahue, Johnny Doran, Julie Anne Haddock, K.C. Martel, Chris Ciampa, Sunshine Lee and Lory Kochheim.
Crough's other acting credits included the 1976 TV movie Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway (starring The Brady Bunch's Eve Plumb), Fred Flintstone and Friends (voice), Wonder Woman, Teenage Father (Academy Award-winning short film) and the 1980 TV movie Children of Divorce. After graduating from Los Angeles Pierce College, she owned and operated a bookstore until 1993. She later worked as a manager at Office Max.
Actress Donna Douglas was best known for her role as Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. She died at Baton Rouge General Hospital in Zachary, Louisiana on January 1, 2015, from pancreatic cancer. Ms. Douglas was 82.
Douglas' early sitcom appearances included Bachelor Father, Hennesey, Pete and Gladys and Mister Ed. Some of her drama appearances included Tightrope, U.S. Marshal, Whirlybirds, Lock Up, The Detectives, Route 66, Thriller, Checkmate, 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside 6, Dr. Kildare and Twilight Zone. Her film credits included Career, Lover Come Back and Frankie and Johnny (with Elvis Presley).
Douglas was selected from among 500 young actresses for the role of Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies. The popular CBS sitcom ran for nine seasons and 274 episodes from 1962-1971. The series also starred Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Max Baer, Jr, Raymond Bailey and Nancy Kulp. Elly May was the only child of Jed and Rose Ellen Clampett. She was a tomboy who loved all kinds of critters. Douglas joined Ebsen and Culp in the 1981 CBS TV movie Return of the Beverly Hillbillies. She reunited with Ebsen and Baer in the 1993 CBS TV special The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies.
Some of her later television appearances included Night Gallery, Love, American Style, Adam-12, McMillan & Wife, Project U.F.O., The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! and The Nanny. Following her acting career, she briefly worked as a real estate agent. She frequently performed as a gospel singer and was an inspirational speaker at many church groups, youth groups and schools. Douglas wrote several children's books and published a cookbook in 2013.
Actress Patricia Elliott starred in the sitcom Empire and made many television guest appearances. She died in Manhattan on December 20, 2015, from leiomyosarcoma. Ms. Elliott was 77.
Elliott starred as Renee in the short-lived 1984 CBS sitcom Empire, which starred Dennis Dugan, Patrick Macnee, Maureen Belford, Caren Kaye, Richard Masur, Michael McGuire, Dick O'Neill, Howard Platt, Edward Winter, Paul Wilson and Francine Tacker.
She was best known for her longtime portrayal of fictional character Renée Divine Buchanan on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Some of her other television guest appearances included Kojak, Nurse, St. Elsewhere, Partners in Crime, Hill Street Blues, Spenser: For Hire and Kate & Allie.
Actress Patsy Garrett had recurring roles in Nanny and the Professor and Room 222. She died on January 8, 2015, after a brief illness in Indio, California. Ms. Garrett was 93.
Garrett played the recurring role of nosy neighbor Mrs. Florence Fowler in Nanny and the Professor, which aired on ABC in 1970-1971. She was the mother of Francine Fowler (Eileen Baral) who had crush on Hal Everett (David Doremus).
She appeared as school secretary Miss Hogarth, who worked for Mr. Seymour Kaufman (Michael Constantine), in the comedy-drama Room 222 in 1972-1973.
Her other sitcom guest appearances included My Three Sons, Maude and Sanford. She starred as the housekeeper Mary Gruber in the Benji series of motion pictures beginning in 1974. She appeared in commercials for Purina Cat Chow.
Casting director David Graham worked on Three's Company, The Ropers and Small Wonder. His film casting credits included Purple Rain and Turning Point. He died on November 3, 2015. Mr. Graham was 91.
Child actor Charles Herbert guest starred in The Donna Reed Show and other 1960s sitcoms. He died in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 31, 2015, from a heart attack. Mr. Herbert was 66.
Herbert guest starred as David Barker in four episodes of The Donna Reed Show from 1958-1960. His other sitcom guest appearances included The Ann Sothern Show, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, The Patty Duke Show, Hazel, The Farmer's Daughter, Hazel, My Three Sons, Family Affair and Julia.
Actress Beth Howland was best known for her role as Vera Gorman in Alice. She died of lung cancer on December 31, 2015, in Santa Monica, California. As per her request, her death was not reported to the media until May 24, 2015. Ms. Howland was 74.
Howland's career began on stage on Broadway in 1959 with her role as Lady Beth in the Carol Burnett musical Once Upon a Mattress. She originated the role of Amy in the original Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim's Company, in which she introduced the patter song Getting Married Today. Some of her other roles included the musicals Bye Bye Birdie, High Spirits, Drat! The Cat! and Darling of the Day.
Some of her early television guest appearances included Mary Tyler Moore (2 episodes), Love, American Style, Cannon, The Rookies, Bronk and Little House on the Prairie. She had uncredited roles in the films Li'l Abner (1958) and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1972).
Howland starred as Vera Louise Gorman (later Novak) in Alice. Vera was a neurotic, scatterbrained waitress at Mel's Diner in Phoenix. She was accident prone. Her scene with the exploding straws in the pilot episode was used in the opening credits. The shy Vera married policeman Elliot Novak (Charles Levin) in the eighth season.
The popular series ran for nine seasons on CBS from 1976-1985. It also starred Linda Lavin, Vic Tayback, Philip McKeon, Polly Holliday (1976-1980), Diane Ladd (1980-1981) and Celia Weston (1981-1985). Howland received four Golden Globe Award nominations for the role in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983.
Some of her other television guest appearances included Eight Is Enough, The Love Boat (6 episodes), Comedy Factory, You Can't Take It With You, Murder She, Wrote, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Batman Beyond (voice), The Tick and As Told by Ginger.
She starred in television movies, including The Ted Bessell Show, You Can't Take It With You, The Wild Wacky Wonderful World of Winter and Agatha Christie's: A Caribbean Mystery. She appeared in the 1988 ABC Afterschool Special: Terrible Things My Mother Told Me.
Actor Marty Ingels co-starred with John Astin in I'm Dickens, He's Fenster. He died from a massive stroke at Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, California, on October 21, 2015. Mr. Ingels was 79.
Ingels played Arch Fenster in I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, which aired for one season on ABC in 1962-1963.
His sitcom guest appearances included The Phil Silvers Show, The Ann Sothern Show, Pete and Gladys, Hennesey, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Addams Family, Bewitched, The Phyllis Diller Show, Good Morning, World, The Love Boat, The Munsters Today, What a Dummy and New Girl.
Actor Dean Jones starred in the sitcom Ensign O'Toole and many Disney films. He died from Parkinson's disease on September 1, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Jones was 84.
He played Ensign O'Toole, an easy-going and inexperienced officer on the fictional U.S. Navy destroyer USS Appleby, in the 1962-1963 NBC sitcom Ensign O'Toole. He later starred as Linc McCray in the short-lived 1971 CBS sitcom The Chicago Teddy Bears. In 1982, he reprised his role as Jim Douglas from The Love Bug in the short-lived ABC sitcom Herbie, the Love Bug.
His film credits included That Darn Cat!, The Ugly Dachshund, Blackbeard's Ghost, The Love Bug (and the sequels), Snowball Express, Beethoven and Clear and Present Danger.
Television producer and director Wes Kenney worked on episodes of All in the Family. He died of cardiac arrest at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, on January 13, 2015. Mr. Kenney was 89.
Kenney directed 24 episodes of All in the Family's fifth season in 1974-1975. His other sitcom directing credits included My Favorite Martian, Big John, Little John, Ladies' Man, Flo and Filthy Rich. He was best known for his work on soap operas, including Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless and General Hospital.
Actor and comedian Irwin Keyes was best known for his recurring role as Hugo in The Jeffersons. He died on July 8, 2015, at the Playa Del Rey Center in Los Angeles, California of complications of acromegaly. Mr. Keyes was 63.
Keyes appeared as Hugo Mojelewski in five episodes of the series from 1981-1984. He played Shorty the Stagehand in the short-lived 1992 ABC sitcom On the Air.
Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Police Squad!, Laverne & Shirley, Brothers, Married with Children and Growing Pains.
Basketball player, actor, and Christian minister Meadowlark Lemon was a Hall of Fame basketball player who was known as the "Clown Prince" of the touring Harlem Globetrotters basketball team for 22 years. He died on December 27, 2015, in Scottsdale, Arizona. No cause of death has been given. Mr. Lemon was 83.
Lemon joined the cast of Hello, Larry for its second season in the fall of 1979 on NBC. He played himself and owned a sporting goods store. He appeared in a crossover episode with Diff'rent Strokes. His other credits included The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, Crash Island and a 1983 episode of Alice.
Actor Robert Loggia starred in Sunday Dinner and many films. He died on December 4, 2015, of complications from Alzeimer's disease, at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Mr. Loggia was 85.
Loggia starred as Ben Benedict in the short-lived 1991 CBS sitcom Sunday Dinner, which was created by Norman Lear. The series starred Teri Hatcher, Martha Gehman, Patrick Breen, Kari Lizer, Shiri Appleby and Marian Mercer.
His television drama roles included Emerald Point N.A.S., Mancuso, F.B.I. and Queens Supreme. Some of his films included Jagged Edge, An Officer and a Gentleman, Scarface, Prizzi's Honor, Big, Independence Day and Lost Highway.
Character actor Tony Longo starred in 1st & Ten and Police Academy: The Series. He died in his sleep at his home in Marina del Rey, California, on June 21, 2015. Mr. Longo was 53.
Longo starred as Mad Dog Smears in the HBO comedy 1st & Ten, which aired from 1984-1991. He played a beefy worker on the United General Technologies assembly line in the 1992-1993 FOX sitcom Shaky Ground. He appeared as Luke Kackley in the syndicated sitcom Police Academy: The Series in 1997-1998.
He played the recurring role of Artie in Alice from 1982-1985. Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Private Benjamin, Laverne & Shirley, Madame's Place, Small & Frye, The Facts of Life, Who's the Boss?, Perfect Strangers, Night Court, Full House, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Empty Nest, Coach, Family Matters and Step by Step.
Actress Marjorie Lord was best known for her role as Kathy "Clancey" Williams in Make Room for Daddy (aka The Danny Thomas Show). She died on November 28, 2015, at her home in Beverly Hills, California of natural causes. Ms. Lord was 97.
Lord's early television guest appearances included Public Prosecutor, Racket Squad, The Adventures of Kit Carson, China Smith, Ramar of the Jungle, Big Town, Hopalong Cassidy, Fireside Theatre (8 episodes), The Lone Wolf, The Ford Television Theatre, Cavalcade of America, The Lone Ranger, The Loretta Young Show and Wagon Train.
Jean Hagen, who played Danny Thomas' first wife Margaret Williams in Make Room for Daddy, was written out of the show as having died. In 1957, Lord appeared in four episodes as Kathy O'Hara, a young Irish nurse, who was hired to take care of an ill Rusty (Rusty Hamer). The characters were married off-screen. The series was re-titled The Danny Thomas Show at the start of the fourth season when it moved from ABC to CBS. She appeared in the show until it ended in 1964.
Lord appeared in two hour-long reunion specials on NBC: The Danny Thomas TV Family Reunion in 1965 and Make More Room for Daddy, which aired as an episode of The Danny Thomas Hour in November 1967. ABC aired Make Room for Granddaddy for a single season in 1970-1971.
Some of her other television guest appearances included The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (as Kathy Williams), The Joey Bishop Show (as Kathy Williams), Love, American Style, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat and Sweet Surrender. Her film credits included Sherlock Holmes in Washington, Chain Gang, Mexican Manhunt, Down Laredo Way, Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! and The Pirate.
Actress and writer Peg Lynch created the radio and television sitcom Ethel and Albert. She died on July 24, 2015, in Becket, Massachusets. Ms. Lynch was 98.
Lynch was one of the first women to star in, own, and write, single-handedly, her own comedy series with Ethel and Albert. It began as a radio program before it became a semi-regular feature on The Kate Smith Evening Hour in 1951-1952. It became its own series on NBC in 1953.
Emmy-winning writer and actress Jenna McMahon co-created The Facts of Life and Mama's Family. She died from heart failure at her home in Monterey, California, on March 2, 2015. Ms. McMahon was 89.
McMahon's sitcom acting credits included Dennis the Menace, Love, American Style, The Bob Newhart Show, Welcome Back, Kotter and A New Kind of Family (which she also co-produced). Some of her other television guest appearances included This Man Dawson, Twilight Zone, Hollywood Talent Scouts, What's It All About, World? The Funny Side and 240-Robert.
McMahon and her partner Dick Clair were a very successful comedy writing team. Their writing credits included The Bob Newhart Show, Mary Tyler Moore, Maude, The Carol Burnett Show, Diff'rent Strokes, Flo, Soap, It's a Living and Mama's Family. They won three Emmy Awards for their work on The Carol Burnett Show in 1974, 1975 and 1978.
McMahon and Clair wrote the story for "The Girls School" episode of Diff'rent Strokes, which served as the pilot episode of The Facts of Life. The popular series starred Charlotte Rae, Lisa Whelchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn and Nancy McKeon. It would run for nine seasons from 1979-1988 on NBC. The Facts of Life Reunion TV Movie aired on ABC in 2001.
They created the character of Eunice (Carol Burnett), the daughter of Mama (Vicki Lawrence) and wife of Ed (Harvey Korman) for The Carol Burnett Show's recurring comedy sketch "The Family." The success of the sketch led to the 1982 CBS TV movie Eunice and later the spin-off series Mama's Family. Mama's Family aired for two seasons on NBC from 1983-1984 before moving to first-run syndication for four seasons from 1986-1990.
McMahon, Clair and Stu Silver wrote the pilot episode for It's a Living in 1980. The show ran for two seasons on ABC from 1980-1982 before moving to first-run syndication for four seasons from 1985-1989. The cast included Ann Jillian, Gail Edwards, Barrie Youngfellow, Paul Kreppel, Marian Mercer, Crystal Bernard, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Richard Stahl.
Actress and comedian Anne Meara starred as Veronica Rooney in Archie Bunker's Place. She died on May 23, 2015, in Manhattan, New York. No cause of death has been announced. Ms. Meara was 85.
Meara met actor-comedian Jerry Stiller in 1953. They were married in 1954. After leaving the improvisational company The Compass Players (which later became The Second City), they formed the comedy team of Stiller and Meara. They were regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show, with over 30 appearances from 1963-1971. They also appeared together on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Meara's first starring television role was as Harriet in the 1954 soap opera The Greatest Gift. Her early sitcom guest appearances included The Courtship of Eddie's Father (2 episodes with Jerry), Love, American Style and The Paul Lynde Show. She had a starring role as Mae in the second season of The Corner Bar in 1973. She played Rhoda's friend Sally Gallagher, a divorced airline stewardess, in 7 episodes of the third season of Rhoda in 1976-1977. Meara received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 1977. Stiller appeared as her ex-husband, Lloyd Zimmer. Meara made 3 guest appearances in The Love Boat from 1979-1983.
She starred as Veronica Rooney, the bar's wisecracking cook, in the first three seasons of Archie Bunker's Place from 1979-1982. She received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1981 and 1982. Stiller appeared in 2 episodes as her ex-husband, Carmine.
Stiller and Meara had their own short-lived sitcom The Stiller and Meara Show in 1986. Meara had a recurring role as Kate Tanner's (Anne Scheeden) mother in 7 episodes of ALF from 1987-1989. She also wrote the episode "Break Up to Make Up" in 1989. Some of her later sitcom guest appearances included Murphy Brown (2 episodes), Will & Grace, Good Morning, Miami, Charlie Lawrence, Sex and the City (4 episodes) and Four Kings. She made her first guest appearance as Mary Finnegan in a 1999 episode of The King of Queens, which reunited her with Jerry. She had a recurring role as Veronica Olchin, Spence's mother and Arthur's wife in the final season, in 9 episodes from 2003-2007.
Meara was also known for her work in dramas. She starred as Kate McShane in the 1975 CBS legal drama Kate McShane. It was the first network series to feature a female lawyer in the lead role. She received an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the role in 1975.
She had a recurring role as Erica Kane's maid Peggy Moody in All My Children from 1992-1999. Some of her other television drama guest appearances included Medical Center, Murder, She Wrote (2 episodes), In the Heat of the Night, Homicide: Life on the Street (Emmy-nominated for her role as Donna DiGrazi in 2 episodes), Oz, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2 episodes) and Mercy. She starred in the 1983 TV movie The Other Woman. She won a Writers Guild Award as a co-writer of the romantic comedy, which also starred Hal Linden.
Actress Barbara Meek starred as Ellen Canby in two seasons of Archie Bunker's Place. She died on October 3, 2015, in Providence, Rhode Island, of a heart attack. Ms. Meek was 81.
She played a housekeeper that Archie (Carroll O'Connor) hired to help look after his niece (Denise Miller). She was the sister-in-law of one of his neighbors, Polly Swanson (Janet MacLachlan).
Meek starred as Mama Rose in the 1986 CBS sitcom Melba. She later starred as Connie "Ma" Duncan" in Big Brother Jake, which aired on The Family Channel from 1990-1994.
Actor Windell Middlebrooks had recurring roles in The Suite Life on Deck and Scrubs. He died of a pulmonary embolism at his home in the San Fernando Valley in California on March 9, 2015. Mr. Middlebrooks was 36.
Middlebrooks had a recurring role as Kirby Morris, the ship's security guard, in The Suite Life on Deck. The series ran on the Disney Channel for three seasons from 2008-2011.
He had a recurring role as Captain Duncook in six episodes of the final season of Scrubs in 2009-2010. His other sitcom guest appearances included The Bernie Mac Show, All of Us, My Name Is Earl, Hannah Montana, Entourage, Parks and Recreation, Cougar Town, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Mighty Med.
Middlebrooks starred as Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Curtis Brumfield on the ABC drama Body of Proof for three seasons from 2011-2013. His drama guest appearances included Veronica Mars and ER. He was also well-known for his role as the deliveryman in the Miller High Life beer commercials.
Actor Al Molinaro was best known for his roles as Al Delvecchio in Happy Days and Murray Greshler in The Odd Couple. He died on October 30, 2015, in a Glendale, California, hospital. His son, Michael, said his death was the result of complications from an infected gallbladder. Mr. Molinaro was 96.
Molinaro played the supporting role of Murray the cop in The Odd Couple from 1970-1975. Murray Greshler was one of Oscar's (Jack Klugman) poker partners. He appeared in 73 episodes of the series. His early sitcom guest appearances included Get Smart, Green Acres, That Girl and Bewitched.
Garry Marshall hired him to replace Pat Morita in Happy Days in 1976. Molinaro played Al Delvecchio, the owner of Arnold's drive-in, beginning in the fourth season. He appeared in 146 episodes of the series. His character was known for the catchphrase "yep-yep-yep-yep." He married Chachi's mother, Louisa (Ellen Travolta).
Molinaro left Happy Days in 1982 to star in the spin-off series Joanie Loves Chachi, which aired for 17 episodes. He returned to Happy Days to make three guest appearances in 1983 and 1984. In 1987, Anson Williams and Molinaro opened a chain of diners in the Midwest called appropriately enough, Big Al's. He appeared in the Happy Days Reunion Special on ABC in 1992.
He starred in The Family Man in 1990-1991 on CBS. He played the grandfather, Joe Alberghetti, in the sitcom which aired for one season. Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Love, American Style, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, Punky Brewster and Step by Step. His film credits included Freaky Friday and Gridlock. He also starred in TV commercials for On-Cor frozen dinners for 16 years from 1987-2003.
In the 1995 Weezer video, "Buddy Holly" directed by Spike Jonze, vintage Happy Days footage was intercut with shots of Weezer performing on the original Arnold's drive-in set. The introduction of the video was delivered by Molinaro as Al Delvecchio and seizing the opportunity to ad lib, Al plugged his hometown--and his words "...from Kenosha, Wisconsin: Weezer!" ended up in heavy rotation on MTV for weeks during 1995.
Actor and comedian Taylor Negron starred in several sitcoms and made many guest appearances. He died of liver cancer on January 20, 2015, at his home in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Negron was 57.
He starred as Silvio Galindez, an Argentinian hooked on the disco dance scene, in the short-lived 1979 ABC sitcom Detective School. He appeared as Armando in the short-lived 1992 CBS sitcom Frannie's Turn. He played Gwillem Blatt in the 1995-1996 NBC sitcom Hope & Gloria. He starred as Manuelo Del Valle in the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen sitcom So Little Time, which aired in 2001-2002.
His sitcom guest appearances included The Last Resort, Anything But Love, Dream On, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Seinfeld, Dave's World, Grace Under Fire, Clueless, Arsenio, Smart Guy, Friends, Jenny, The Hughleys, My Wife and Kids, That's So Raven, Curb Your Enthusiasm, 'Til Death and The Comedians.
Voice actor Gary Owens was best known as the announcer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. He died on February 12, 2015, from complications due to type 1 diabetes in Encino, California. Mr. Owens was 80.
Owens was the announcer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In for its entire run from 1968-1973.
Some of his sitcom credits included McHale's Navy, The Munsters, I Dream of Jeannie, Night Court, Mad About You, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and That '70s Show.
His voice credits included Roger Ramjet, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Space Ghost, Garfield and Friends, and Bobby's World.
Melody Patterson was best known for her role as Wrangler Jane in F Troop. She died on August 20, 2015, at a nursing home in Hollister, Missouri, of multiple organ failure. Ms. Patterson was 66.
Patterson starred as Jane Angelica Thrift/Wrangler Jane in the ABC sitcom F Troop from 1965-1967. Her hard-riding, fast-shooting cowgirl character owned Wrangler Jane's Trading Post and ran the U.S. post office in town. She was Captain Wilton Parmenter's (Ken Berry) beautiful but tomboyish, feisty, romantically aggressive girlfriend. Patterson was only 16 years old when she first appeared on the show.
Some of her sitcom guest appearances included Wendy and Me, The Monkees and Green Acres. Her drama guest appearances included Adam-12 and three episodes of Hawaii Five-O. She was married to Hawaii Five-O star James MacArthur from 1970-1975. She is survived by her husband, Vern Miller.
Ben Powers was best known for his role as Thelma Evans' husband, Keith Anderson, during the sixth and final season of Good Times. He died on April 6, 2015, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, from liver cancer. Mr. Powers was 64.
Powers starred as Keith Anderson, a professional football star, in the final season of Good Times in 1978-1979. He married Thelma Evans (Bern Nadette Stanis) in the season premiere.
His sitcom guest appearances included Gimme a Break!, The New Odd Couple and Laverne & Shirley.
He had a regular role as Moochie in The New Mike Hammer in 1984-1985. His television drama guest appearances included Flamingo Road and The Greatest American Hero.
Actor Roger Rees played English multi-millionaire industrialist Robin Colcord in Cheers. He died of brain cancer at his home in New York on July 10, 2015. Mr. Rees was 71.
Rees appeared as Robin Colcord, an English tycoon who was a love interest of Rebecca Howe (Kirstie Alley), in Cheers. He made 16 guest appearances from 1989-1991. He returned for an episode in the final season in 1993.
He starred as Malcolm in the British sitcom Singles from 1988-1989. In 1997, he had a recurring role as President Harrison Cross in the NBC sitcom Boston Common. His other sitcom guest appearances included Three Sisters and The Middle.
His drama roles included the 1994-1995 Fox sci-fi series M.A.N.T.I.S.. He played the recurring role of British Ambassador Lord John Marbury in The West Wing from 2000-2005. He appeared in 7 episodes of Warehouse 13 as James McPherson. Some of his other drama appearances included My So-Called Life, Oz, The Education of Max Bickford, Veritas: The Quest, Law & Order, Related, Grey's Anatomy, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Good Wife, Elementary and Forever.
Some of his film credits included Star 80, If Looks Could Kill, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Frida, The Prestige, The Pink Panther, Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties and Survivor.
He was also known for his stage work. He won an Olivier Award and a Tony Award for his performance as the lead in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. Other parts included Shadowlands, Six Degrees of Separation and Indiscretions.
Actor and comedian Reynaldo Rey appeared as Ray the Mailman in 227. He died in Los Angeles on May 28, 2015, from complications due to a stroke he suffered last year. Mr. Rey was 75.
Rey played the recurring role of Ray the Mailman in 18 episodes of 227 from 1986-1990. He also worked as a writer for two episodes. His other sitcom guest appearances included Sanford, The Royal Family, The Parent 'Hood, The Wayans Bros., Sister, Sister, The Bernie Mac Show and Everybody Hates Chris.
He was the co-host of BET's ComicView in 1998–1999 and 2000–2001. Some of his film credits included Harlem Nights, A Rage in Harlem, White Men Can't Jump, House Party 3, Friday and For Da Love of Money.
Actor Alex Rocco appeared as Jo Polniaczek's father Charlie in The Facts of Life. He died on July 18, 2015, of cancer in Studio City, Los Angeles. Mr. Rocco was 79.
Rocco appeared in the recurring role of Charlie Polniaczek, Jo's father (Nancy McKeon), in The Facts of Life. He made 11 guest appearances from 1981-1988. In 1995, he guest starred as Michael O'Donnell, Annie O'Donnell's (Nancy McKeon) father, in an episode of the CBS sitcom Can't Hurt Love. He appeared in the recurring role of John Exstead Sr., Inspector Jinny Exstead's (Nancy McKeon) father, in 14 episodes of the Lifetime drama The Division from 2001-2004.
He starred as Al Floss, a fast-talking obnoxious Hollywood agent, in the 1989-1990 CBS sitcom The Famous Teddy Z. Rocco received an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1990 for the role in the series, which starred Jon Cryer. He starred as Howie Ruscio in the 1991-1992 ABC sitcom Sibs. In 1994-1995, he played the fast-talking bookie Harry Rosetti in the Fox sitcom The George Carlin Show.
Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Get Smart, That Girl, Lotsa Luck, Mary Tyler Moore, The Love Boat, The Golden Girls, Murphy Brown, Daddy Dearest, Partners, Hope & Gloria, Mad About You, Goode Behavior, Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher, Home Improvement, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Just Shoot Me! and Episodes. He provided his voice in episodes of The Simpsons, Pinky and the Brain and Family Guy.
His television drama guest appearances in the 1960s and 1970s included Batman, The F.B.I., Mission: Impossible, The Rookies, Get Christie Love!, Kojak, Cannon, Delvecchio, Police Story, The Rockford Files, Barnaby Jones, Baretta and Starsky and Hutch. His guest appearances in the 1980s included CHiPs, Matt Houston, Hardcastle and McCormick, St. Elsewhere, Simon & Simon, The A-Team, Murder, She Wrote, T.J. Hooker, Hotel and Hunter. Later guest appearances included Early Edition, Michael Hayes, Family Law, Walker, Texas Ranger, ER and The Practice. He had a recurring role in the Starz crime-drama series Magic City from 2012-2013.
Rocco appeared in dozens of films. He was best known for his portrayal of Moe Greene in The Godfather. Some of his other film credits included The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Freebie and the Bean, Herbie Goes Bananas, The Stunt Man, Cannonball Run II, Lady in White, Get Shorty, Just Write and The Wedding Planner.
Actor Wayne Rogers was best known for playing the role of Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre in M*A*S*H. He died on December 31, 2015, from complications from pneumonia in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Rogers was 82.
Rogers co-starred with Robert Bray and Richard Eyer as Luke Perry in the 1960-1961 ABC western Stagecoach West. Some of his early drama guest appearances included Laws of the Plainsman, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Gunsmoke, The Fugitive, The Invaders and The F.B.I.. He also appeared in an episode of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
He starred as Captain "Trapper" John McIntyre in M*A*S*H. He appeared in the first three seasons of the series from 1972-1975 until he left in a contract dispute. His character got a discharge and returned home. Captain B.J. Hunnicut (Mike Farrell) replaced him as Hawkeye's tentmate and co-conspirator. Rogers was interviewed for two retrospective specials: Memories of M*A*S*H in 1991 and the M*A*S*H: 30th Anniversary Reunion in 2002.
After leaving M*A*S*H, he starred as FBI agent Jake Axminster in the short-lived but critically acclaimed 1976 NBC drama City of Angels. The series starred Elaine Joyce, Clifton James and Philip Sterling.
He later starred as Dr. Charley Michaels in the sitcom House Calls, which aired on CBS from 1979-1982. The series first starred Lynn Redgrave from 1979-1981. Sharon Gless joined the series in 1982. Rogers and Redgrave received Golden Globe nominations for their roles in 1981.
Rogers appeared in the 1983 mini-series Chiefs. He guest starred in five episodes of Murder, She Wrote. In 1985, he starred as Major Tony Nelson in TV reunion movie I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later. He hosted the short-lived 1986 series High Risk.
He built a career as an investor, investment strategist and advisor, and money manager. He appeared regularly as a panel member on the Fox Business Network cable TV stocks investment/stocks news program Cashin' In.
Actor Andrew Rubin starred in Joe Bash and guest starred in several sitcoms. He died on October 5, 2015, of lung cancer in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Rubin was 69.
Rubin co-starred with Peter Boyle in the short-lived 1986 ABC sitcom Joe Bash. His sitcom guest appearances included The Odd Couple, The Jeffersons, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. He starred as Chritopher Springer in the 1985 CBS dramedy Hometown. He played George Martin in Police Academy.
Emmy-winning writer, producer and director Sam Simon co-created The Simpsons. He died from complications from colorectal cancer at his home in Los Angeles, California, on March 8, 2015. Mr. Simon was 59.
Simon's early sitcom writing credits included Best of the West, Barney Miller, Taxi and Cheers. He worked as the executive story editor on Taxi in 1981-1982 and as the showrunner/producer from 1982-1983. He also served as a producer on Cheers from 1984-1985. Simon worked as a creative consultant and writer for It's Garry Shandling's Show from 1987-1988.
He developed The Simpsons in 1989 with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks. Simon assembled the show's first writing team and co-wrote eight episodes. He left the show in 1993. Simon won nine Emmy Awards for his television work, including seven for The Simpsons.
Simon co-created The George Carlin Show, which aired for two seasons on Fox from 1994-1995. He also directed six episodes of the series. His other sitcom directing credits included Friends, Men Behaving Badly, Norm, The Michael Richards Show, The Drew Carey Show and Norm. He worked as a consulting producer on The Drew Carey Show from 1998-2003. Simon co-created the ABC sitcoms Sibs and Phenom.
Actor John Stephenson appeared in The People's Choice and had many sitcom guest appearances. He died of Alzheimer's disease on May 15, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Stephenson was 91.
Stephens had a recurring role as Roger Crutcher in The People's Choice, which starred Jackie Cooper, from 1955-1958.
His sitcom guest appearances included My Little Margie, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, I Love Lucy, Hennesey, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, The Real McCoys, The Beverly Hillbillies, F Troop, Get Smart, The Donna Reed Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., That Girl, Hogan's Heroes and The Doris Day Show.
He was well-known for his voice-over work. Some of his credits included The Flintstones, Top Cat, Scooby-Doo and Jonny Quest. He also did the narration for Dragnet.
Actor Sawyer Sweeten starred as Geoffrey Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond. He died on April 23, 2015, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his relative's home in Austin, Texas. Mr. Sweeten was 19.
Sawyer and his real-life twin brother Sullivan played Geoffrey and Michael Barone, the twin sons of Raymond (Ray Romano) and Debra (Patricia Heaton), in Everybody Loves Raymond. The popular CBS sitcom ran for nine seasons on CBS from 1996-2005. The Sawyer twins were just 16 months old when they landed the roles. They appeared in approximately 139 episodes of the series. Their real-life sister Madylin Sweeten played Alexandra "Ally" Barone, the oldest of the Barone children. They appeared together at the 8th Annual TV Land Awards in 2010 when Everybody Loves Raymond won the Impact Award. The Sullivan twins other credits included a 2000 episode of Even Stevens and the 2002 film Frank McKlusky, C.I.
Television writer, producer and director Chris Thompson worked on many sitcoms. He died in actor Tim Curry's home on June 26, 2015, in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles after a long illness. Mr. Thompson was 63.
Thompson's writing career began with episodes of Blansky's Beauties and Sirota's Court. He worked on Laverne & Shirley as a writer, story editor, executive script consultant, director and producer. In 1980, he created Bosom Buddies with Robert L. Boyett and Thomas L. Miller. He also worked as a writer on nine episodes and directed four episodes of the Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari sitcom.
He was the creator of The Naked Truth, Action, Ladies Man and the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up!, which starred Zendaya and Bella Thorne. His other sitcom writing credits included Hard Knocks (Showtime), The Larry Sanders Show, Dave's World, House Rules, The Naked Truth, Action, Ladies Man and Shake It Up!. He worked as a producer on The Larry Sanders Show, The Naked Truth, Action, I'm with Her and Shake It Up!.
Actress Mary Ellen Trainor appeared as Parker Lewis' mother in Parker Lewis Can't Lose. She died on May 20, 2015, at her home in Montecito, California, from complications of pancreatic cancer. Ms. Trainor was 62.
Trainor played the role of Judy Lewis, the mother of Parker Lewis, in the Fox comedy Parker Lewis Can't Lose from 1989-1991. She appeared in the pilot episode and seasons 2-3, replacing Anne Bloom after the first season.
She starred as Eve Lukens in the ABC dramedy Relativity in 1996-1997. She played Diane Evans in the WB/UPN sci-fi drama Roswell from 1999-2002. Her television guest appearances included Cheers, Crazy Like a Fox, Remington Steele, Amazing Stories, Tales from the Crypt and The Outsiders.
Some of her film credits included Romancing the Stone, The Goonies, all four Lethal Weapon films, The Monster Squad, Die Hard, Scrooged, Ghostbusters II, Back to the Future Part II, Ricochet, Death Becomes Her, Little Giants, Congo and Freaky Friday. She was married to director Robert Zemeckis from 1980-2000. They had a son, Alex.
Actor Dick Van Patten was best known for his role as patriarch Tom Bradford in Eight Is Enough. He died on June 23, 2015, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. The cause of death was listed as complications from diabetes. Mr. Van Patten was 86.
Van Patten's television career began with his role as Nels Hansen in the 1949-1956 CBS comedy-drama Mama. The series was about a Norwegian family of five living in San Francisco in the 1910s. It starred Peggy Wood, Judson Laure, Rosemary Rice, Iris Mann (1949), Robin Morgan (1950-1956) and Ruth Gates.
He starred as Sgt. Nelson Higgenbottom in the 1971-1972 NBC sitcom The Partners. The series was about a pair of bumbling detectives. It starred Don Adams, Rupert Crosse, John Doucette and Robert Karvelas. He later had a recurring role as a soap opera producer Max Mathias in the third season of The New Dick Van Dyke Show in 1973-1974. In 1975, he starred as Friar Tuck in the critically acclaimed but short-lived sitcom ABC sitcom When Things Were Rotten, which was created by Mel Brooks.
Van Patten starred as the father, Tom Bradford, in the 1977-1981 ABC comedy-drama Eight Is Enough. The series was about a newspaper columnist for the fictional Sacramento Register and his family with eight children. It starred Diana Hyland (season 1), Betty Buckley (seasons 2-5), Grant Goodeve, Lani O'Grady, Laurie Walters, Susan Richardson, Dianne Kay, Connie Needham, Willie Aames and Adam Rich. Two reunion movies were broadcast on NBC: An Eight Is Enough Reunion on October 18, 1987, and An Eight Is Enough Wedding on October 22, 1989.
Some of his many sitcom guest appearances included I Dream of Jeannie, Arnie, That Girl, Sanford and Son, The Doris Day Show, Love, American Style, The Love Boat, Maude, What's Happening!!, One Day at a Time, Happy Days, The Facts of Life, Growing Pains, Arrested Development and Hot in Cleveland. He starred as weatherman Floyd Graham in the CBS drama WIOU in 1990-1991.
Van Patten's film credits included Charly, Joe Kidd, Snowball Express and Soylent Green. He appeared in several films directed by Mel Brooks, including High Anxiety, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. He was interviewed for American Masters – Mel Brooks: Make A Noise (2013) on June 6, 2012.
Character actor Daniel von Bargen was known for his roles as Mr. Kruger in Seinfeld and as Commandant Edwin Spangler in Malcolm in the Middle. He died in Montgomery, Ohio, on March 1, 2015, of undisclosed causes. He had experienced complications of diabetes for years. Mr. von Bargen was 64.
von Bargen appeared as Kruger, George Costanza's boss, in four episodes of Seinfeld in 1997-1998. He had the recurring role of Commandant Edwin Spangler in 15 episodes of Malcolm in the Middle in 2000-2001.
Some of his other television guest appearances included Spenser: For Hire, Law & Order, All My Children, New York Undercover, NYPD Blue, The Pretender, The X-Files, Arli$$, The Practice, The West Wing, Ally McBeal, Judging Amy and Without a Trace.
Howard West was a producer on Seinfeld with his long-term partner George Shapiro. He was also a longtime manager of Jerry Seinfeld. He died at UCLA Medical Center following a massive stroke on December 6, 2015. Mr. West was 84.
Actor Jason Wingreen was known for his role as Harry Snowden in All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place. He died at his home in Los Angeles, California, on December 25, 2015. Mr. Wingreen was 95.
Wingreen's early sitcom guest appearances included The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, Margie, Get Smart, Captain Nice, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, Mayberry R.F.D., Room 222, Love, American Style, The Partridge Family, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, Happy Days, Blanksy's Beauties and Carter Country. He played Shorty Dawes in the 1966-1967 western comedy The Rounders.
He was a regular on The Untouchables as Captain Dorset in the 1960-1961 season. Some of his other drama guest appearances included The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Dr. Kildare, The Long, Hot Summer, 12 O'Clock High, The Fugitive, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Felony Squad, Star Trek, The Name of the Game, Mission: Impossible, The F.B.I, Mannix and Ironside.
Wingreen played the recurring role of Harry Snowden in 25 episodes of All in the Family from 1976-1979. He was a bartender at Kelcy's Bar and eventually becomes Archie's business partner. He continued the role in the spin-off series Archie Bunker's Place from 1979-1983. Harry Snowden sold his share of the business to Murray Klein (Martin Balsam) in the series premiere.
He lent his voice to the bounty hunter Boba Fett (portrayed by Jeremy Bulloch) in the original theatrical version of The Empire Strikes Back. His other film credits included The Dunwich Horror, Airplane! and Oh God!.
Wingreen appeared in 11 episodes of Matlock as Judge Harry Beaumount from 1987-1991. Some of his later drama guest appearances included Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Hill Street Blues, Hunter, Highway to Heaven, Freddy's Nightmares and In the Heat of the Night. His later sitcom guest appearances included Mama's Family and Seinfeld.
Comedian, actor, writer, producer, and musician Harris Wittels was known as a writer and producer for Parks and Recreation. He died of a heroin overdose on February 19, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Wittels was 30.
Wittels was a staff writer, executive story editor and later an executive producer of Parks and Recreation. He also appeared as Harris, a dim-witted animal control employee, in 9 episodes of the series.
Actress and singer Pat Woodell was best known for her role as Bobbie Jo Bradley in the first two seasons of Petticoat Junction. She died on September 29, 2015, at her home in Fallbrook, California, after a long battle with cancer. Ms. Woodell was 71.
Woodell starred as the first Bobbie Jo Bradley in seasons one and two of Petticoat Junction from 1963-1965. Her book-loving character appeared in 64 out of 74 episodes. She performed musical numbers in several episodes, including "The Ladybugs." The Ladybugs, a Beatles parody group, consisted of her TV sisters Linda Kaye, Jeannine Riley, together with Sheila James. The Ladybugs also appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Woodell was replaced by Lori Saunders after she left to promote her singing career. She was interviewed and provided episode introductions for the season one and two DVD releases of the series in 2008-2009.
She guest starred as Miss Thompson in one of the last episodes ("A Visit from the Teacher") of The Munsters in 1966. Some of her other television guest appearances included Cheyenne, Hawaiian Eye, The Gallant Man, GE True, 77 Sunset Strip, Bright Promise and The New Perry Mason. She retired from acting in 1973.
Television producer, director, and writer Bud Yorkin worked on many hit sitcoms of the 1970s. He died of natural causes on August 18, 2015, at his home in Bel Air, California. Mr. Yorkin was 89.
Yorkin's early golden age television work included musical variety shows and specials. He worked as a producer on The Tony Martin Show and The Ford Show (aka The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show). He directed The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Tony Martin Show, The George Goebel Show and The Ford Show.
In 1958, he founded Tandem Productions with television writer/producer Norman Lear. Yorkin directed and produced the 1958 TV special An Evening With Fred Astaire, which won nine Emmy Awards. He won his second Emmy Award with Ralph Levy for directing The Jack Benny Show in 1960.
Yorkin and Lear's string of sitcom hits in the 1970s included All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Maude and Good Times. Yorkin directed the second pilot episode of All in the Family (Those Were the Days in 1969), seven episodes of Sanford and Son from 1972-1975, and one episode of Maude in 1972. He worked as an executive producer on All in the Family and Sanford and Son.
After he ended his partnership with Lear in 1975, he formed Bud Yorkin Productions. He created the short-lived Sanford and Son spin-off series Grady. He worked as an executive producer on the spin-off Sanford Arms. In 1976, he formed TOY Productions with Saul Turteltaub and Bernie Orenstein. Their two hits were ABC's What's Happening!! from 1976-1979 and Carter Country from 1977-1979. Columbia Pictures Television acquired TOY Productions in 1979.
New on DVD/Blu-ray (January/February)
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One / Review
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two / Review
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
02/07 - Sabrina, the Teenage Witch - Sabrina Down Under
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 1 - School's Cool - Boy Crazy
02/07 - So Little Time - Volume 2 - About a Family - Hangin' Out
02/07 - 227 - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek)
02/07 - Vice Principals - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
02/14 - Beavis and Butt-Head - The Complete Collection
02/14 - Grace and Frankie - Season Two
02/28 - Fuller House - The Complete First Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Wednesday, February 22
The Goldbergs - "So Swayze It's Crazy" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
After Adam sees his friend on television, he asks Beverly for her help to become an actor, so Beverly enlists his friend’s mom Edie, who is a kid talent agent in town. Unfortunately, Edie insists Adam can only get “nerd” roles, so Beverly goes on a quest to make Adam a teenage heartthrob. Meanwhile, Barry decides to embrace the punk lifestyle, and Murray attempts to become more involved in Erica’s life, but it backfires.
Speechless - "O-S-- OSCAR P-A-- PARTY" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
When the Dimeos throw their annual Oscar party with other special-needs families, Maya feels threatened by new mom Becca, who seems a little too perfect. Meanwhile, Jimmy encourages the fathers at the party to let loose while Ray tries to impress a girl by pretending to be someone he is not.
Modern Family - "Heavy Is the Head" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Despite their lofty hopes, Phil and Jay’s property investment might turn out to be a bust, forcing Phil to rethink his original dream. Meanwhile, Cam lands in the hospital due to a head injury and refuses to have an MRI thanks to a traumatic incident with a well when he was a child. Determined to finally impress Claire and keep her from re-gifting her birthday present, Gloria surprises her with a day of luxury at the office. However, after Claire had to implement some rather harsh budget cuts at work, a massage at her desk may not be sending the right message.
black-ish - "One Angry Man" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
Dre is forced to participate in jury duty after Junior responds to the summons that was thrown away. The case is supposed to be open and shut, but when Dre sees that the defendant is a young African American, he feels a civic responsibility to give him a fair trial. Meanwhile, Bow decides to let the kids swear in the house since they are more open with her that way, but she and Ruby soon regret the decision.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "The Gang Tends Bar" (FXX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
It's Valentine's Day and Paddy's is packed with customers. Dennis implores the gang to do one day of actual work but everyone else is distracted by a mystery crate Cricket spotted in the alley. Eventually, the gang becomes convinced Dennis really wants them to work on their relationships and everyone shares their grievances without much resolution.
Man Seeking Woman - "Dolphin" (FXX, 10:30PM ET/PT)
When her mom becomes obsessed with Josh's wedding, Liz seeks out her estranged father (Peter Gallagher).
Schitt's Creek - "General Store" (Pop, 8:00PM ET/PT)
David comes up with a new business venture; Alexis adjusts to her first day of school.
Wednesday, February 22
- Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) and George Clooney (The Facts of Life/Roseanne) - Tom and George are guests on a repeat of the 2012 Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars special at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat) - Ariana drops by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) - Kelly is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Billy Gardell (Mike & Molly)- Billy appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
- Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also talks about Ultimate Beastmaster on NBC's Today in the 9am hour and on the AOL Build Show at 2pm.
- Ron Funches (Powerless/Undateable) - Ron is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) - Demi appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- NeNe Leakes (The New Normal) - NeNe guest co-hosts The Real, so check your local listings.
- Matt Shively (The Real O'Neals/True Jackson, VP) - Matt is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Justin Bartha (The New Normal) - Justin joins the Chew Crew on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi will be on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
- Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth/The Cleveland Show) - Will talks about The Last Man on Earth on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. He will also be on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
- Rosie Perez (Search Party) - Rosie is a guest on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
- Allison Williams (Girls) - Allison appears on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Yvette Nicole Brown (The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette dishes about the new season of SuperMansion on Crackle on The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
- Mike Epps (Uncle Buck/Survivor's Remorse) - Mike is a guest on Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.
- Eva Longoria (Telenovela) - Eva chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Mark Consuelos (Hope & Faith) - Mark guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.