Thursday, December 31, 2020

In Memoriam: Remembering Dawn Wells and the Other Sitcom Stars We Lost in 2020

Today we remember the sitcom actors, actresses, producers, directors, writers, composers, and other crew members who died in 2020. We lost stars from The Dick Van Dyke Show, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Flying Nun, Gilligan's Island, Good Times, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., Green Acres, The King of Queens, Laverne & Shirley, Leave it to Beaver, M*A*S*H, Scrubs, Seinfeld, Small Wonder, Two and a Half Men, Wings and many more who are greatly missed. We thank them for the laughter and entertainment they brought us over the years.

We will begin with our tribute to Dawn Wells who we sadly lost yesterday (December 30) due to COVID-19 complications. The other 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 Interviews: An Oral History of Television links.


Dawn Wells

Dawn Wells (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Actress Dawn Wells was best known for her role as Mary Ann Summers in Gilligan's Island. She died of complications due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles on December 30, 2020. Ms. Wells was 82.

Wells' early television credits included The Roaring 20's, Maverick, Cheyenne, Wagon Train, 77 Sunset Strip (4 episodes), The Detectives, The Everglades, Tales of Wells Fargo, Lawman, Bonanza, Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, It's a Man's World, Laramie, Ripcord, The Joey Bishop Show and Burke's Law.

She starred as Mary Ann Summers, a wholesome farm-girl from Winfield, Kansas who won the trip and tour in a lottery, in the 1964-1967 CBS sitcom Gilligan's Island. The series aired for three seasons and 98 episodes (plus a pilot episode that eventually aired on TBS in 1992). It also starred Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise and Russell Johnson.

The cast (except Tina Louise who was replaced by Judith Baldwin) reunited for 1978 NBC TV movie Rescue from Gilligan's Island, 1979's The Castaways on Gilligan's Island and 1981's The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island. In 1987, Denver, Hale, Wells and Johnson reprised their roles in the 2-part ALF episodes titled "Somewhere Over the Rerun" and "The Ballad of Gilligan's Island." E! True Hollywood Story presented a backstage history of the show in 2000, featuring interviews with some of the stars or their widows. Denver, Wells and Johnson reminisced about the show in the 2001 CBS docudrama Surviving Gilligan's Island: The Incredibly True Story of the Longest Three Hour Tour in History.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included Valentine's Day, The Love Boat, Growing Pains, Herman's Head, Roseanne, Meego, Three Sisters and Girlfriends.

Her later television credits included The Invaders, The Wild Wild West, Bonanza, The F.B.I., Vega$, Fantasy Island, Matt Houston and Baywatch.

She was the narrator for the 1975 film Winterhawk. Some of her other film credits included The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), Return to Boggy Creek (1977), Soulmates (1992), Lover's Knot (1995), Forever for Now (2004), Super Sucker (2002) and Silent But Deadly (2012).

Ms. Wells was very sweet as Mary Ann. She seemed just as nice off-screen to her many fans. She also did a lot of charity work over the years. The Mary Ann vs. Ginger debate will always continue, but we are in the Mary Ann group. We thank her for the many laughs and entertainment she brought us. She will be deeply missed.

Share your memories on our Gilligan's Island message board. View photos in our galleries.


Raymond Allen

Raymond Allen (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Raymond Allen appeared as Woody Anderson in Sanford and Son and The Sanford Arms. He died on August 10, 2020, from a respiratory illness. Mr. Allen was 91.

Allen appeared as Woodrow "Woody" Anderson, Aunt Esther's husband, in nine episodes of Sanford and Son from 1974 to 1977. He reprised the role in the spin-off series The Sanford Arms in 1977. The series starred Theordore Wilson, LaWanda Page, Bebe Drake-Hooks, Whitman Mayo, Norma Miller, Don Bexley, Tina Andrews and John Earl.

He played Ned the Wino in four episodes of Good Times from 1974 to 1977. His other sitcom guest appearances included What's Happening!!, The Love Boat and The Jeffersons. He appeared as mechanic Merle the Earl in three episodes of Starsky and Hutch from 1976 to 1978.


Orson Bean

Orson Bean (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Orson Bean starred as John Goodman's father in Normal, Ohio and made many sitcom guest appearances. He died on February 7, 2020, in Los Angeles after being being struck by a vehicle. Mr. Bean was 91.

Bean starred as Bill Gamble, Butch's (John Goodman) cranky homophobic father, in the short-lived 2000 Fox sitcom Normal, Ohio. The series also starred Greg Pitts, Joely Fisher, Anita Gilette, Julia McIlvaine, Cody Kasch, Mo Gaffney and Charles Rocket.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included The Phil Silvers Show, Love, American Style, Forever Fernwood/Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (as Reverend Brim), The Love Boat, The Facts of Life, Thanks, Manhattan, AZ, Will & Grace, Becker, Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, The Guest Book, Teachers, Superstore and Grace and Frankie.

He starred as Loren Bray in the 1993-1998 CBS western drama Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. He appeared in the recurring role of Roy Bender, a steak salesman and Karen McCluskey's (Kathryn Joosten) love interest, in 23 episodes of the ABC mystery comedy-drama Desperate Housewives from 2009 to 2012.


Roger Beatty

Roger Beatty (IMDB)

Emmy-winning writer Roger Beatty worked on The Carol Burnett Show and Mama's Family. He died on April 6, 2020, at his home in Palm Desert, California, of prostate cancer. Mr. Beatty was 87.

He won five Emmy Awards (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1978) for his work on The Carol Burnett Show. He created his first sketch for Carol Burnett in 1969.

Beatty directed three episodes and wrote an episode of the variety series The Tim Conway Show in 1980 and 1981. He co-wrote the feature film The Billion Dollar Hobo (1977), which starred Tim Conway. He directed 35 episodes and wrote an episode of Mama's Family in 1983 and 1984.


Warren Berlinger

Warren Berlinger (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Character actor Warren Berlinger starred in The Joey Bishop Show and made many sitcom guest appearances. He died from cancer on December 2, 2020, at the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia, California. Mr. Berlinger was 83.

Berlinger starred as Larry Barnes, the younger brother of Joey Barnes (Joey Bishop), in the first season (1961-1962) of The Joey Bishop Show.

He appeared as Walter Bradley in the short-lived 1973 ABC sitcom A Touch of Grace.

Berlinger played Chief Engineer Stanley Dobritch in the second season of the ABC sitcom Operation Petticoat from 1978 to 1979.

He starred as Eddie, the propietor of Eddie's Bar and Grill, in the short-lived 1983 CBS sitcom Small & Frye.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included The Goldbergs (1956), Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., Family Affair, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, That Girl, Love American Style, Doc, What's Happening!!, All's Fair, Blansky's Beauties, The Love Boat, Alice, Happy Days, It's a Living, Laverne & Shirley, Charles in Charge, The Jeffersons, Too Close for Comfort, Friends and Grace and Frankie.


William Bogert

William Bogert (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor William Bogert appeared as Brandon Brindle in Small Wonder. He died in New York City, New York on January 12, 2020. Mr. Bogert was 83.

Bogert starred as Mr. Joseph X. Callahan in the short-lived 1979 CBS sitcom Miss Winslow and Son. The series also starred Darleen Carr, Roscoe Lee Browne, Elliot Reid, Sarah Marshall, David Finger, Michael Finger, Ellen Sherman and Joe Rassulo.

He had a semi-regular role as Brandon Brindle, the father of Harriet Brindle (Emily Schulman) and Ted's (Dick Christie) overbearing boss at United Robotronics, in the syndicated sitcom Small Wonder from 1985 to 1989. Edie McClurg played his wife, Bonnie Brindle. Alice Ghostley played Ida Mae Brindle, his outspoken, know-it-all sister. The series also starred Marla Pennington, Jerry Supiran, and Tiffany Brissette.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Barney Miller, One Day at a Time, Taxi, The Jeffersons, The Facts of Life, M*A*S*H, House Calls, Madame's Place, Square Pegs, Benson, The Wonder Years, Amen, Webster, Mr. Belvedere, Empty Nest, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Hope & Faith and Difficult People.

He played Mr. Lightman, the father of David Lightman (Matthew Broderick), in the 1983 film WarGames.


Timothy Brown

Timothy Brown (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor, singer and professional football player (Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Colts) Timothy Brown starred as Spearchucker Jones in the first season of M*A*S*H. He died of complications of dementia on April 4, 2020, in Palm Springs, California. Mr. Brown was 82.

Brown appeared as Dr. Oliver Harmon "Spearchucker" Jones in the first six episodes of M*A*S*H in 1972. The character was dropped from the show reportedly because the producers learned there were no African American surgeons serving in Korea during the Korean War. He played Cpl. Judson in the 1970 film M*A*S*H. Gary Burghoff, G. (George) Wood, and Corey Fischer were the only other actors to appear in both the film and TV series.

He guest starred in The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1970, Benson in 1984 and Gimme a Break! in 1985. Some of his other TV guest appearances included The Wild Wild West, The Young Lawyers, Cade's County, Adam-12, Mission: Impossible, S.W.A.T, Cannon, The Rookies, T.J. Hooker and The Colbys.


Jack Burns

Jack Burns (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor and screenwriter Jack Burns appeared as Warren Ferguson in The Andy Griffith Show and starred in Getting Together. He died on January 27, 2020, in Los Angeles, California from respiratory failure. Mr. Burns was 86.

Burns appeared as Warren Ferguson, a dedicated but inept deputy sheriff, in 11 episodes of the first half of the 1965-1966 season of The Andy Griffith Show. His character was brought in to replace the Don Knotts' Barney Fife character after Knotts left the series.

He starred as Officer Rudy Colcheck in the 1971-1972 ABC sitcom Getting Together. The series also starred Bobby Sherman, Wes Stern, Susan Neher and Pat Carroll.

He provided the voice of Ralph Kane for the 1972-1974 syndicated animated sitcom Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. The cast also included Tom Bosley, Joan Gerber, Kristina Holland, David Hayward and Jackie Haley. He was the announcer and sometimes performer for the ABC sketch comedy series Fridays from 1980 to 1982.

Some of this other sitcom guest appearances included Occasional Wife, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Happy Days, The Partridge Family, Love, American Style, Brothers (1985) and The Pitts.

His writing credits included The Kraft Music Hall, Hee Haw, We've Got Each Other, The Muppet Show and It's Garry Shandling's Show. He also co-wrote the 1979 film The Muppet Movie.


Lynn Cohen as Magda

Lynn Cohen (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Lynn Cohen appeared as Magda in Sex and the City. She died on February 14 in New York City, New York. Ms. Cohen was 86.

Cohen appeared in the recurring role of Magda, Miranda's (Cynthia Nixon) housekeeper, in 13 episodes of Sex and the City in seasons 3-6 of the HBO romantic comedy-drama Sex and the City. She reprised the role in the 2008 film Sex and the City and the 2010 sequel Sex and the City 2.

Some of her other television guest appearances included NYPD Blue, Soul Man, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order (12 episodes as Judge Elizabeth Mizener), Days of Our Lives, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Bored to Death, Nurse Jackie, Damages, Getting On, The Affair, Deadbeat, Master of None, Chicago Med, Blue Bloods, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and God Friended Me. She played Mags in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.


Forrest Compton

Forrest Compton (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Forrest Compton appeared as Lieutenant Colonel Edward Gray in Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.. He died on April 4, 2020, in Shelter Island, New York, from COVID-19 complications. Mr. Compton was 94.

Compton appeared in the recurring role of Lieutenant Colonel Edward Gray, the stern but fair battalion commander, in 41 episodes of the 1964-1970 CBS sitcom Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. . The cast included Jim Nabors, Frank Sutton, Ronnie Schell, Roy Stuart (1965-1968), Ted Bessell (1965-1966), Barbara Stuart, William Christopher (1965-1968), Allan Melvin (1965-1969), Tommy Leonetti (1964-1965), Larry Hovis (1964-1965) and Elizabeth McRae (1967-1969).

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Hennesey, My Three Sons, The Queen and I, Mayberry R.F.D., Hogan's Heroes and That Girl.

He portrayed attorney Mike Karr, the central character, in the long-running soap opera The Edge of the Night. He appeared in 432 episodes from 1971-1984. Compton was the third actor to play the crime fighting district attorney. Mike Karr was previously played by John Larkin and Laurence Hugo. Some of his soap opera guest appearances included As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Another World, All My Children and Loving.

Some of his drama guest appearances included Death Valley Days, Johnny Ringo, Troubleshooters, Fury, Flight, Route 66, Checkmate, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, The Fugitive, The Invaders, Mannix, The F.B.I. and Ed.


Abby Dalton

Abby Dalton (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Abby Dalton starred in The Joey Bishop Show and Hennesey. She died on November 23, 2020, in Los Angeles, California after a long illness. Ms. Dalton was 88.

Dalton starred as Lt. (JG) Martha Hale, R.N. in the 1959-1962 CBS sitcom Hennesey. The series also starred Jackie Cooper, Roscoe Karns, Henry Kulky, James Komack, Arte Johnson, Herb Ellis (1960-1962), Robert Gist (1960), Norman Alden (1960-1962) and Meg Wyllie.

She appeared as Ellie Barnes, Joey Barnes' (Joey Bishop) wife, in The Joey Bishop Show for seasons 2 to 4 from 1962 to 1965.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included My Three Sons, Nanny and the Professor, Love American Style, Barney Miller and The Love Boat.

She played played winemaker Julia Cumson in Falcon Crest from 1981 to 1986.


Mac Davis

Mac Davis (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Country music singer, songwriter and actor Mac Davis had a recurring role in Rodney. He died on September 29, 2020, from complications following heart surgery in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Davis was 78.

Davis had a recurring role as Carl, Rodney Hamilton's (Rodney Carrington) father-in-law, in 13 episodes of the ABC sitcom Rodney from 2004 to 2006. The series also starred Jennifer Aspen, Oliver Davis, Matthew Josten, Amy Pietz and Nick Searcy.

Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Webster, King of the Hill (voice), That '70s Show and 8 Simple Rules.


Brian Dennehy

Brian Dennehy (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Brian Dennehy starred in the short-lived sitcoms Star of the Family and The Fighting Fitzgeralds. He died on April 15, 2020, of cardiac arrest due to sepsis at his home in New Haven, Connecticut. Mr. Dennehy was 81.

Dennehy starred as Buddy Krebs in the short-lived 1982 ABC sitcom Star of the Family. Buddy Krebs was a fire captain and the father of a 16-year-old singing daughter named Jennie Lee. The series also starred Kathy Maisnik, Michael Dudikoff, Todd Susman, George Deloy, Danny Mora and Judy Pioli.

He starred as "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the short-lived 2001 NBC sitcom The Fighting Fitzgeralds. Fitz was a widower and retired fire captain who wants to enjoy his retirement but shares his home with three grown sons, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter. The series also starred Justin Louis, Connie Britton, Christopher Moynihan, Abigail Mavity, Jon Patrick Walker and Constance Zimmer.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included M*A*S*H, The Tony Randall Show, Just Shoot Me, 30 Rock and Rules of Engagement. His TV drama credits included Kojak, Police Woman, Dynasty, Cagney & Lacey, Hunter, Miami Vice, Birdland, The West Wing, The Good Wife, Public Morals, The Blacklist and Hap and Leonard. He was nominated for Emmy Awards six times for his television movies.

He was best known for his film work. Some of his credits included First Blood (1982), Gorky Park (1983), Silverado (1985), Cocoon (1985), F/X (1986), Presumed Innocent (1990), Tommy Boy (1995), Romeo + Juliet (1996), and Knight of Cups (2015). He won Tony Awards in 1999 for Death of a Salesman and in 2003 for Long Day Journey's Into Night.


Natalie Resselle-Reid

Natalie Desselle-Reid (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Natalie Desselle-Reid starred as Janie Egins in Eve. She died due to colon cancer on December 7, 2020. Ms. Desselle-Reid was 53.

Her first starring role was as Tammy Watkins in the short-lived 1997 NBC sitcom Built to Last. The series was based on the real-life family of comedian Royale Watkins. It centered on Royale Watkins, who put his career on hold to help run the family business, Watkins Construction, after his father had a mild heart attack. Watkin's real-life father ran an actual Watkins Construction in D.C.. It also starred Geoffrey Owens, J. Lamont Pope, Jeremy Suarez, Paul Winfield, Denise Dowse and Richard Speight Jr.

She had a recurring role as Eunetta in 8 episodes of the NBC/The WB sitcom For Your Love from 1998 to 2000. Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included Family Matters, Getting Personal and Yes, Dear. She appeared in a 2003 episode of the NBC medical drama E/R. Her most recent television role was as the Ex Wife in the 2017 Comedy Central digital series Ya Killin' Me.

Desselle-Reid starred as Janie Egins in the 2003-2006 UPN sitcom Eve. It ran for three seasons and 66 episodes. Janie Egins was Shelly Williams (Eve) married friend who served as her voice of reason. The series revolves around two sets of male and female friends attempting to navigate relationships with the opposite sex. It also starred Jason George, Brian Hooks, Ali Landry and Sean Maguire.

She starred as Mickey in the 1997 film B.A.P.S., in which she appeared opposite Halle Berry. Some of her other film credits included Set It Off (1997), Def Jam's How to Be a Player (1997), Sweet Hideaway (2003), Gas (2004), Divas (2009), Madea's Big Happy Family (2011), and Zoe Gone (2014). She appeared as Minerva, a stepsister to Cinderella (Brandy), in the 1997 ABC TV film Cinderella. She played Principal Davenport in the 2013 TV film A Mother's Rage.


Dena Dietrich

Dena Dietrich (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Dena Dietrich starred in the sitcoms Adam's Rib, Karen and The Practice. She died of natural causes on November 21, 2020, at a health-care facility in Los Angeles. Ms. Dietrich was 91.

Dietrich starred as Gracie, Amanda Bonner's (Blythe Danner) secretary, in the short-lived 1973 ABC sitcom Adam's Rib. The series also starred Ken Howard, Ron Rifkin, Edward Winter and Norman Bartold.

She played Dena Madison, the group's cynical manager, in the short-lived 1975 ABC Karen. The series also starred Karen Valentine, Denver Pyle, Charles Lane, Aldine King, Will Seltzer, Oliver Clark and Alix Elias.

Dietrich starred as Molly Gibbons, a nurse, in the short-lived 1976-1977 NBC sitcom The Practice. The series also starred Danny Thomas, Shelley Fabares, David Spielberg, Didi Conn, Allen Price, Damon Raskin, John Byner, Sam Laws and Mike Evans.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, Fay, Blansky's Beauties, Welcome Back, Kotter, The Love Boat, The Ropers, Square Pegs, Out of This World, 13 East, Good Grief, Babes, Going Places, The Golden Girls, Get a Life, Blossom, Harry and the Hendersons, Empty Nest, Hearts Afire, Murphy Brown, and Mad About You.

She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Mother Nature in the 30-second Chiffon margarine commercials from 1971 to 1979.


Ja'Net DuBois

Ja'Net DuBois (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Ja'Net DuBois was best known for her role as Willona Woods in Good Times. She died on February 17, 2020, of cardiac arrest at her Glendale, California, home. Sources differ on her age. Some list her as 74, 81 or 87.

DuBois starred as Willona Woods in Good Times, which aired on CBS from 1974 to 1979. Willona was the best friend of Florida Evans (Esther Rolle) and the neighborhood gossip maven. She was a recent divorcée who works at a boutique. The series also starred John Amos (1974-1976), Jimmie Walker, Bern Nadette Stanis, Ralph Carter, Johnny Brown (1977-1979), Janet Jackson (1977-1979) and Ben Powers (1978-1979).

She had a recurring role as Grandma Ellington in 10 episodes of The Wayans Bros. from 1996 to 1997. Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included Sanford and Son, The Love Boat, The Facts of Life (as Tootie's grandmother, Ethel), Dearly Departed, New Attitude, Doctor Doctor, A Different World, True Colors, Dream On, The Golden Palace, Hangin' Mr. Cooper, Sister, Sister, Home Improvement, Moesha, Clueless, The Steve Harvey Show, Everybody Loves Raymond and One on One.

DuBois was also known for her voiceover work. She provided the voice of Mrs. Florence Avery in the 1999-2001 Fox/The WB animated sitcom The PJs. She won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1999 and 2001 for her work. Her other voiceover credits included As Told by Ginger as Mrs. Patterson, Random! Cartoons and G.I. Joe: Renegades.

She appeared as Loretta Allen on the soap opera Love of Life from 1970 to 1972. She is credited as the first African-American woman to appear regularly on a daytime soap. Some of her television drama guest appearances included Shaft, Kojak, Caribe, Crazy Like a Fox, Houston Knights, Beverly Hills 90210, ER, Touched by an Angel, Boomtown, Crossing Jordan and Cold Case.

DuBois co-wrote with Jeff Barry and sang the theme song Movin' on Up for The Jeffersons. She released three albums: Queen of the Highway (1980), Again, Ja'Net DuBois (1983) and Hidden Treasures (2007). She appeared in former Good Times co-star Janet Jackson's 1987 "Control" music video as her mother.

She starred as Ma Bell in the 1988 film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Some of her other film credits included Diary of a Mad Housewife, Heart Condition, Waterpoof and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.


Marj Dusay

Marj Dusay (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Marj Dusay appeared in the recurring role of Monica Warner in The Facts of Life. She died on January 28, 2020, in Manhattan, New York. Ms. Dusay was 83.

She played Monica Warner, Blair Warner's (Lisa Whelchel) mother, in eight episodes of The Facts of Life from 1981 to 1987. Blair's mother was played by Pam Huntington in the "Like Mother, Like Daughter" episode during the first season.

Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included Occasional Wife, Get Smart, The Second Hundred Years, Hogan's Heroes, Family Affair, The Odd Couple, Love, American Style, Phyllis, Square Pegs, Perfect Strangers, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The New WKRP in Cincinnati.

She was especially known for her role as Alexandra Spaulding on Guiding Light, a role she played on and off, from 1993 through the show's 2009 cancellation. Her other soap opera credits included Capitol, Santa Barbara, Days of Our Lives and All My Children.


Conchata Ferrell

Conchata Ferrell (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Conchata Ferrell was best known for her role as Berta the housekeeper in Two and a Half Men. She died on October 12, 2020, from complications following cardiac arrest at the Sherman Oaks Hospital in Sherman Oaks, California. Ms. Ferrell was 77.

Ferrell's first starring role was as April Green in the short-lived 1975 ABC sitcom Hot l Baltimore, which was produced by Norman Lear. April was the love of Bill Lewis (James Cromwell), the desk clerk at the dilapidated Hotel Baltimore. The show's title came from the cheap establishment's neon marquee which had a burned-out letter "e". The series also starred Richard Masur, Al Freeman Jr., Jeannie Linero, Gloria LeRoy, Robin Wilson, Stan Gottlieb, Lee Bergere, Henry Calvert and Charlotte Rae.

Some of her early sitcom guest appearances included Maude, One Day at Time (1977), Blansky's Beauties, Good Times and The Love Boat. Her early drama guest appearances included The Rockford Files, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, Knot's Landing, B.J. and the Bear (five episodes as Wilhelmina "The Fox" Johnson), McClain's Law, Lou Grant, Quincy M.E., Cagney & Lacey and St. Elsewhere.

She starred as Nurse Joan Thor in the short-lived 1984-1985 CBS sitcom E/R. She was the head nurse in the emergency room (E/R) at a fictional Clark Street Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. The cast included Elliott Gould, Marcia Strassman, Mary McDonnell, Lynne Moody, Shuko Akune, Corinne Bohrer, Bruce A. Young, Luis Ávalos, Jason Alexander, George Clooney, William G. Schilling and Jeff Doucette.

Ferrell appeared as Dr. Madeline Stoessinger in the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire from 1993 to 1995. Madeline was a friend and progressive soul mate of Georgie Anne Lahti Hartman (Markie Post). Ferrell had first made guest appearances as Dr. Ruth Colquist in two episodes in 1992. The cast included John Ritter, Justin Burnette (1992-1994), J. Skylar Testa, Clark Duke, Billy Bob Thornton, Wendie Jo Sperber (1992-1993), Doren Fein and Leslie Jordan (1993-1995).

She played Marge, the raspy owner of the diner, in the short-lived 1996 ABC sitcom Townies. The series starred Molly Ringwald, Jenna Elfman, Lauren Graham, Billy Burr, Ron Livingston, Lee Garlington, Dion Anderson and Joseph Reitman.

Ferrell appeared as Aunt Pam, a disgrunted postal worker, in the 1997-1998 ABC sitcom Teen Angel. The series starred Mike Damus, Corbin Allred, Maureen McCormick, Katie Volding, Jordan Brower and Ron Glass.

Her best known role was as Berta in all twelve seasons of the 2003-2015 CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. Berta was Charlie's (Charlie Sheen) housekeeper, a sharp-tongued woman who initially resists the change to the household, but grudgingly accepts it. Ferrell had a recurring role in the first season before becoming a regular for the remaining seasons. She received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2005 and 2007 for the role. The cast included Jon Cryer, Angus T. Jones, Holland Taylor, Marin Hinkle, Melanie Lyskey, April Bowlby (seasons 3-4), Jennifer Taylor (seasons 6-7), Amber Tamblyn (seasons 11-12) and Ashton Kutcher (seasons 9-12).

Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included Night Court, Sledge Hammer!, Hooperman, Who's the Boss?, Dinosaurs (voice), The Naked Truth, Minor Adjustments, Friends, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Becker and Grace and Frankie. She appeared as Shirley in five episodes of the Netflix sitcom The Ranch in 2017.

She had a recurring role as Attorney Susan Bloom in the sixth season of NBC's L.A. Law from 1991 to 1992. Ferrell received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1992 for her role. She first appeared as Lorna Landsberg in a 1988 episode. She played Kate Galindo, a secretary, in the short-lived 1989 CBS drama Peaceable Kingdom. She played Martha, the owner and operator of Martha's Boarding House, in the short-lived 2002 ABC drama Push, Nevada. Some of her other drama guest appearances included Murder, She Wrote, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, JAG, ER and Judging Amy.

Some of her film roles included Deadly Hero (1976), Network (1976), Heartland (1979), Mystic Pizza (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), True Romance (1993), Crime and Punishment in Suburbia (2000), Erin Brockovich (2000), K-Pax (2001) and Mr. Deeds (2002).


Corey Fischer

Corey Fischer (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Corey Fischer starred in the short-lived sitcom Sunshine and made several sitcom guest appearances. He died of complications from a brain aneurysm on June 6, 2020. Mr. Fischer was 75.

Fischer starred as Cory Givitz in the 1975 NBC sitcom Sunshine. The series, which was set in Vancouver, British Columbia, was based on the 1973 CBS TV movie of the same name. It also starred Cliff DeYoung, Elizabeth Cheshire, Bill Mumy and Meg Foster.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Blondie, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Girl with Something Extra, Sanford and Son, Sirota's Court, Barney Miller, Welcome Back, Kotter and Frasier.


Gerald Gardner

Gerald Gardner (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Writer Gerald Gardner worked on The Monkees and Get Smart. He died October 11, 2020, of lung cancer in Woodland Hills, California. Mr. Gardner was 91.

Gardner's sitcom writing credits included Mickey, My Brother the Angel, Gilligan's Island, The Monkees (22 episodes), Get Smart (11 episodes), The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Bill Cosby Show, Love, American Style, What's Happening!! and Sledge Hammer!.


Lila Garrett

Lila Garrett (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Television writer Lila Garrett worked on Bewitched and Baby, I'm Back. She died on February 1, 2020, in Tarzana, California. Ms. Garrett was 94.

Garrett's sitcom writing credits included My Favorite Martian, My Mother the Car, The Lucy Show, The Addams Family, Petticoat Junction, Hank, Get Smart, Occasional Wife, The Second Hundred Years, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Love, American Style, Bewitched, All in the Family, Barney Miller, Baby, I'm Back (also the creator) and The Nanny.

She directed episodes of Archie Bunker's Place, Baby Makes Five and Spencer.


Mary Pat Gleason

Mary Pat Gleason (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Character actress Mary Pat Gleason had a recurring role in Mom and made many sitcom guest appearances. She died from cancer on June 2, 2020, in Burbank, California. Ms. Gleason was 70.

Gleason's sitcom guest appearances in the 1980s and 1990s included What a Country!, Full House, Mama's Family, Frank's Place, Murphy Brown, Day by Day, Dear John, Who's the Boss?, Empty Nest, Night Court, Saved by the Bell, Perfect Strangers, Davis Rules, Nurses, The Golden Palace, Coach, Blossom, Friends, Step by Step, Dave's World, Suddenly Susan and Family Matters.

She had a recurring role as Patty, a presidential assistant, in four episodes of the 2012-2013 NBC sitcom 1600 Penn. She played Mrs. Gosnold in four episodes of the Nick at Nite/TV land sitcom Instant Mom from 2013 to 2014. Some of her later sitcom guest appearances included Sex and the City, Malcolm in the Middle, Good Luck Charlie, The Middle, 2 Broke Girls, Up All Night, Baby Daddy, Dog with a Blog, Will & Grace, American Housewife and Life in Pieces.

Gleason had a recurring role as Mary, a fellow AA member who was frequently interrupted by Bonnie (Allison Janney) when she shared her problems with the group, in the CBS sitcom Mom. She appeared in eight episodes from 2014 to 2019.

She starred as Ida in the 2008 ABC Family sci-fi drama The Middleman. Ida was soulless a android from outer space masquerading as a cranky librarian. The series also starred Matt Keeslar, Natalie Morales, Brit Morgan and Jake Smollett.

Gleason won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1986 for her work on the writing team of The Guiding Light. She also appeared in the series as Jane Hogan from 1983 to 1985.


Billy Goldenberg

Billy Goldenberg (IMDB/Wikipedia)

TV and film composer Billy Goldenberg worked on several sitcoms. He died on August 3, 2020, in New York City, New York. Mr. Goldenberg was 84.

He was the theme song composer for Rhoda (also composer for episodes), Dorothy and Love, Sidney. Some of his other TV credits included It Takes a Thief, Alias Smith and Jones, Circle of Fear, Columbo, Harry O, Executive Suite, Delvecchio, Kojak and Our House.


Danny Goldman

Danny Goldman (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Danny Goldman starred in The Good Life and Busting Loose. He died in his home in Los Angeles on April 12, 2020, from complications of two strokes. Mr. Goldman was 80.

Goldman starred as Nick Dutton, the teenage son of Charles Dutton (David Wayne) and Grace Dutton (Hermione Baddeley), in the 1971-1972 NBC sitcom The Good Life. The series starred Larry Hagman and Donna Mills as Albert and Jane Miller, a middle-class American couple who tire of their mundane existence and decide to seek new employment as the live-in butler and cook of a millionaire industrialist, Charles Dutton.

He starred as Lester Bellman, a childhood friend of Lenny Markowitz (Adam Arkin), in the short-lived 1977 CBS sitcom Busting Loose. The series also starred Barbara Rhodes, Jack Kruschen, Pat Carroll, Steve Nathan, Greg Antonacci, Paul Sylvan, Paul B. Price, Ralph Wilcox and Louise Williams.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included That Girl, Room 222, The Partridge Family, Love, American Style, Happy Days, Chico and the Man, At Ease!, Soap, Alice, It's a Living, The Love Boat, Webster, The Golden Girls, The Famous Teddy Z, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and The King of Queens.

Goldman was most widely recognized as the voice of Brainy Smurf in Hanna-Barbera's The Smurfs from 1981 to 1989. He played Ozzie the Answer in Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer from 1984 to 1987. He appeared as the inquisitive medical student in the opening scene of the 1974 film Young Frankenstein.


Robert Harper

Robert Harper (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Robert Harper starred as Sy "Bubba" Weisburger in Frank's Place. He died from cancer on January 23, 2020, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Mr. Harper was 68.

Harper starred as Sy "Bubba" Weisburger, a friendly lawyer and a regular at Chez Louisiane, in the 1987-1988 CBS comedy-drama Frank's Place. The critically acclaimed series also starred Tim Reid, Daphne Maxwell-Reid, Francesca P. Roberts, Frances E. Williams, Virginia Capers, Tony Burton, Charles Lampkin, Lincoln Kilpatrick, William Thomas Jr. and Don Yesso.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Newhart, Murphy Brown, Roseanne, Room for Two, Love & War and Bless This House.

He starred as Judge Irwin Hayes in the 2001-2002 ABC legal drama Philly. Some of his drama guest appearances included Remington Steele, Matlock, Jake and the Fatman, Wiseguy, The Commish, Murder, She Wrote, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, Any Day Now, Law & Order, Gilmore Girls and Commander in Chief.

Harper was perhaps most well known for his role as Sharkey in 1984 film Once Upon a Time in America. Some of his other film credits included Creepshow, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Twins, Final Analysis, Gunmen, The Wrong Man, Deconstructing Harry, Molly and The Insider.


Charlie Hauck

Charlie Hauck (IMDB)

Television producer and writer was the creator of Valerie. He worked on Maude, Home Improvement and Frasier. He died of complications from pancreatic cancer on November 14, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Hauck was 79.

Hauck's sitcom writing credits included Hot l Baltimore, That's My Mama, One Day at a Time, M*A*S*H, Maude, The Associates (also the creator), The Two of Us, Suzanne Pleshette Is Maggie Briggs, Valerie (later known as The Hogan Family), Home Improvement, Frasier and It's All Relative.

Some of his sitcom producing credits included Maude, The Two of Us, Suzanne Pleshette Is Maggie Briggs, Valerie, Home Improvement, Encore! Encore! and Frasier.

He received Emmy nomination for The Associates for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1980 and for Frasier for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2000.


Buck Henry

Buck Henry (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Actor, writer and director Buck Henry was the co-creator of Get Smart. He died of a heart attack at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on January 8, 2020. Mr. Henry was 89.

Henry and Mel Brooks co-created the 1965-1970 NBC/CBS sitcom Get Smart. He also worked as a story editor. Henry shared an Emmy Award with Leonard Stern for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy in 1967. The cast included Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, Edward Platt, Dave Ketchum (1966-1967), Stacy Keach Sr. (1966-1967), Bernie Kopell (1966-1969), King Moody (1966-1969), Dick Gautier (1966-1969), Victor French (1965-1970) and Robert Karvelas (1967-1970).

He was the creator of the short-lived 1967 NBC sitcom Captain Nice. He also wrote two episodes. The superhero parody series starred William Daniels, Alice Ghostley, Ann Prentiss, Liam Dunn, William Zuckert and Byron Foulger.

Henry created the short-lived 1978 NBC sci-fi sitcom Quark. The series starred Richard Benjamin, Tim Thomerson, Richard Kelton, Tricia Barnstable, Cyb Barnstable, Bobby Porter, Conrad Janis and alan Caillou.

He hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live ten times between 1976 and 1980, making him the show's most frequent host during its initial five-year run. He was a regular on the short-lived 1984 NBC sketch comedy show The New Show.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Murphy Brown, Trying Times, Dilbert (voice), Will & Grace, 30 Rock and Hot in Cleveland.

He co-directed with Warren Beatty the 1978 film Heaven Can Wait. They received an Oscar nomination for Best Director for their work. He recieved his first Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Graduate in 1968.


Richard Herd

Richard Herd (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Richard Herd appeared as George Costanza's boss Mr. Wilhelm in Seinfeld. He died from cancer at his Los Angeles home on May 26, 2020. Mr. Herd was 87.

Herd starred as Captain Dennis Sheridan in the police drama T.J. Hooker. Captain Sheridan was the by-the-books superior at the fictional Lake City Police Department (LCPD) Academy Precinct. He was the father of Officer Stacy Sheridan (Heather Locklear). Herd was a regular in the first two seasons before becoming an occasional guest star in seasons three and four. The series aired on ABC for four seasons from 1982 to 1985 before moving to CBS for the final season from 1985 to 1986. It also starred William Shatner, Adrian Zmed (1982-1985), Lee Bryant (1982-1983), April Clough (1982) and James Darren (1983-1986).

He played John, the Visitors' Supreme Commander, in the 1983 NBC sci-fi miniseries V and 1984 sequel V: The Final Battle. He starred as Admiral/Secretary General William Noyce in the NBC sci-fi series seaQuest DSV from 1993 to 1994. He appeared as Mike the in the short-lived 1994 NBC drama Winnetka Road.

Herd appeared as Mr. Wilhelm, George Costanza's (Jason Alexander) baffled boss, in 11 episodes of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld from 1995 to 1998. Matt Wilhelm was George's supervisor at the New York Yankees. He later leaves the Yankees to become head scout for the New York Mets.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included M*A*S*H in 1980, The Golden Girls in 1989, Grace Under Fire in 1996 and Caroline in the City in 1998.

He played Admiral Owen Paris, the father of helmsman Tom Paris (Robert Duncan McNeill), in three episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. Some of his many drama guest appearances included Kojak, The Rockford Files, The Streets of San Francisco, Starsky and Hutch, Dallas, Hart to Hart, Falcon Crest, Matt Houston, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Hardcastle and McCormick, Dynasty, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Beauty and the Beast, Simon & Simon, Matlock, Knots Landing, China Beach, Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, ER, Walker, Texas Ranger, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pacific Blue, JAG and CSI: Miami.

Herd's first major film role was in the thriller The China Syndrome (1979) alongside Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas, where he played the character Evan McCormack, the corrupt Chairman of the California Gas & Electric Board. Some of his other film credits included Private Benjamin (1980), Lovely But Deadly (1981), Trancers (1985), Summer Rental (1985), Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Gleaming the Cube (1989), Get Out (2017) and The Mule (2018).


Paula Kelly

Paula Kelly (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Paula Kelly starred as Liz Williams in the first season of Night Court. She died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on February 8, 2020, in Whittier, California. Ms. Kelly was 77.

Kelly appeared as Liz Williams, a public defender, in 12 episodes of the first season of Night Court in 1984. She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the role.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included Sanford and Son, Good Times, Amen, The Golden Girls, Baby Talk and Room for Two. Her other television guest appearances included The Young Lawyers, Medical Center, Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Police Woman, Kojak, Trapper John, M.D., Insight, Feel the Heat, Hill Street Blues, Finders of Lost Loves, St. Elsewhere, South Central and Any Day Now.

She appeared in the recurring role of Ginger Jones in 24 episodes of the NBC soap opera Santa Barbara from 1984 to 1985.


Brandis Kemp

Brandis Kemp (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Brandis Kemp starred in the M*A*S*H spin-off series AfterMASH. She died at her home in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles on July 4, 2020, following a struggle with brain cancer and complications from COVID-19. Ms. Kemp was 76.

Kemp starred as Alma Cox, the pushy secretary of Mike D'Angelo (John Chappell) in the 1983-1984 CBS sitcom AfterMASH. She started the TV show as an occasionally recurring character but after only four episodes she quickly graduated to a regular cast member because of the popularity of Alma Cox. After the first 13 episodes she appeared in every episode. The series also starred Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr, William Christopher, Rosalind Chao, Jay O. Sanders, Barbara Townsend, David Ackroyd, Anne Pitoniak and Peter Michael Goetz.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included Designing Women, Webster, Perfect Strangers, 227, The Golden Girls, Coach, The Wonder Years and Grace Under Fire. She was a regular on the 1980-1982 ABC weekly late-night live comedy show Fridays.


Shirley Knight

Shirley Knight (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Shirley Knight starred in Maggie Winters and appeared in more than 50 feature films, television films, television series, and Broadway and Off-Broadway productions in her career. She died of natural causes on April 22, 2020, at her daughter Kaitlin Hopkins' home in San Marcos, Texas. Ms. Knight was 83.

Knight starred as Estelle Winters, the mother of Maggie Winters (Faith Ford), in the 1998-1999 CBS sitcom Maggie Winters. The series also starred Jenny Robertson, Alex Kapp Horner, Brian Haley, Clea Lewis and Robert Romanus.

She appeared in episodes of Cybill and Hot in Cleveland. She received Emmy nominations for her guest appearances in thirtysomething, The Equalizer, Law & Order, NYPD Blue and Desperate Housewives.

Knight was nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress: for The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960) and Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). In later years, she played supporting roles in many films, including Endless Love (1981), As Good as It Gets (1997), Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) and Grandma's Boy (2006).


Marsha Kramer

Marsha Kramer (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Marsha Kramer had a recurring role in Modern Family. She died on January 23, 2020, in Los Angeles. Ms. Kramer was 74.

She appeared as Margaret, an assistant to Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill), in 14 episodes of Modern Family between 2013 and 2020. Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included The Bill Cosby Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Newhart, Cheers, Love & War, Frasier, Titus, Malcolm in the Middle and Dr. Ken.


David L. Lander

David L. Lander (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor, comedian, musician, and baseball scout David L. Lander was best known for his role as Andrew "Squiggy" Squiggman in Laverne & Shirley. He died of complications from multiple sclerosis at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on December 4, 2020. Mr. Lander was 73.

Lander's first Hollywood credit was as the voice of Jerry Lewis in the 1970-1971 ABC Filmation animated series Will the Real Jerry Lewis Please Sit Down. He was the voice of Bob in the 1972 Love, American Style episode "Love and the Old-Fashioned Father", which was the pilot episode of the animated series Wait Till Your Father Gets Home. Some of his early sitcom guest appearances included The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Barney Miller and Viva Valdez.

He co-starred as Andrew "Squiggy" Squiggman in the 1976-1983 ABC sitcom Laverne & Shirley. Squiggy and his best friend and roommate Leonard "Lenny" Kosnowski (Michael McKean) were Laverne and Shirley's (Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams) screwball neighbors who lived upstairs from the girls' apartment. They worked as truck drivers at the Shotz Brewery planet. Squiggy made nearly every entrance with his trademark "Hello" said in a comically dopey voice. Lander appeared in 156 of the 178 episodes of the series. He also was one of the writers of the episodes "Hi Neighbor" and "Hi Neighbor, Book 2." The cast also included Eddie Mekka, Phil Foster, Betty Garrett (1976-1981), Carole Ita White (1976-1977), Ed Marinaro (1980-1981) and Leslie Easterbrook (1980-1983).

McKean and Lander created the characters of Lenny and Squiggy while both were theater students at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Lander also appeared as Squiggy in the 1979 Happy Days episode "Fonzie's Funeral: Part 2." In 1979, McKean and Lander released the album Lenny and the Squigtones in which they performed in character. He appeared in The Laverne & Shirley Reunion special, which aired in 1995. Lander provided the voice of Squiggy in a 2002 episode of The Simpsons.

Lander starred as Valdja Gochktch in the short-lived 1992 ABC sitcom On the Air. Valdja Gochktch was the director of the variety show called The Lester Guy Show that aired on the fictional 1950s TV network Zoblotnick Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). The David Lynch and Mark Frost created and produced series also starred Ian Buchanan, Nancye Ferguson, Gary Grossman, Marla Jeanette Rubinoff, Mavin Kaplan, Mel Johnson Jr., Tracey Walter, Miguel Ferrer and Kim McGuire.

Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included The Love Boat, Married with Children, Knight & Daye, Head of the Class, Family Album, Getting By, Family Matters, Dream On, The Nanny, Homeboys in Outer Space, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Mad About You and Arli$$.

He had a recurring role as Elvis Kryzcewski in 14 episodes of the USA Network police drama Pacific Blue from 1996 to 1997. Some of his other television guest appearances included Highway to Heaven, Matlock, Simon & Simon, Father Dowling Mysteries, Monsters, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Freddy's Nightmares, Twin Peaks, L.A. Heat, Nash Bridges, Diagnosis: Murder, Black Scorpion and Raising the Bar.

Lander had an extensive list of voice acting credits. Some of his voice acting roles included Galaxy High, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone, Tom & Jerry Kids, Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills, Jungle Cubs and 101 Dalmatians: The Series. Lander and McKean voiced the characters of the penguin cousins Henry and Louie in 2001-2003 animated series Oswald.

He played a baseball league radio announcer in the 1992 film A League of Their Own, which was directed by Penny Marshall. Some of his other film credits included 1941, Wholly Moses!, Used Cars, The Man with One Red Shoe, Funland, Scary Movie and Christmas with the Kranks. His voice film credits included The Big Bang, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, A Bug's Life, Titan A.E. and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

Lander was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on May 15, 1984. He served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and regularly spoke at related conventions. In 2002, his autobiography was published, titled Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn't Tell Nobody, written with Lee Montgomery.

He was an avid fan of baseball, especially the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was once a minority owner of the Portland Beavers minor league baseball team. He worked as a baseball talent scout for the Anaheim Angels starting in 1997. He later worked for the Seattle Mariners.


Tom Lester

Tom Lester (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Tom Lester was best known for his role as Eb Dawson in Green Acres. He died from complications from Parkinson's disease on April 20, 2020, in the Nashville, Tennessee home of his fiancée and long-term caregiver, Jackie Peters. Mr. Lester was 81.

Lester starred as Eb Dawson in the 1965-1971 CBS sitcom Green Acres. Eb Dawson was the naive, wide-eyed, yet smart-mouthed young farmhand to Oliver Wendell Douglas (Eddie Albert) and Lisa Douglas (Eva Gabor). He habitually addressed the Douglases as "Dad" and "Mom", much to Oliver's consternation. Lester won the role over 400 other actors after a screen test. He got the role because he was the only one who could milk a cow in real life since he grew up on a farm in Mississippi. He appeared in 150 of the 170 episodes. He missed the first half of the 1967–1968 season when he suffered mononucleosis. The cast also included Pat Buttram, Alvy Moore, Frank Patterson, Barbara Pepper (1965-1969), Frank Cady, Sid Melton (1966-1969) and Mary Grace Canfield (1966-1971).

He appeared as Eb Dawson in six episodes of Petticoat Junction in 1966-1967 and three episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies in 1968. In 1990, he reunited with Albert, Gabor and the other surviving cast members in the CBS TV movie Return to Green Acres.

Some of his other TV guest appearances included Love, American Style, Marcus Welby, M.D., Little House on the Prairie, Knight Rider and Santa Barbara.

Lester appeared as Riley in the 1974 film Benji. He played the adult Pete Maravich in the 1991 film The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend. He appeared as Cousin Jake in the 1995 film Gordy, which was about a talking pig. His final role was in the 2014 film Campin' Buddies. He also served as a writer and producer of the film.

He was a farmer and for many years had been a Christian speaker who traveled the nation, preaching a message of faith and obedience.


Sam Lloyd

Sam Lloyd (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Sam Lloyd was best known for his role as lawyer Ted Buckland in Scrubs. He died on April 30, 2020, in Los Angeles due to complications from lung cancer. Mr. Lloyd was 56.

Lloyd starred as Lance Armstrong, the obsessive and obnoxious head of the records department for the Department of City Services, in the 1990 CBS sitcom City. The series also starred Valerie Harper, Todd Susman, Tyra Ferrell, Stephen Lee, Liz Torres, Mary Jo Keenen, James Lorinz, LuAnne Ponce and Shay Duffin.

Lloyd starred as Barkley, the spaced-out dispatcher for the Double Rush bicycle messenger service in Manhattan, in the 1995 CBS sitcom Double Rush. The series also starred Robert Pastorelli, David Arquette, Corinne Bohrer, Adam Goldberg, D. L. Hughley and Phil Leeds.

He played Ray Giddeon, the New York City's Battery Park district precinct's sad sack perpetual victim, in the short-lived 2000 NBC sitcom Battery Park. It also starred Elizabeth Perkins, Justin Louis, Jacqueline Obradors, Robert Mailhouse, Jay Paulson, Frank Grillo, Bokeem Woodbine and Wendy Moniz.

He appeared in the recurring role of Ted Buckland, Sacred Heart Hospital's sad sack lawyer, in 95 episodes of the NBC sitcom Scrubs from 2001 to 2009. Lloyd was an accomplished singer with the a cappella group The Blanks, who appeared under the name The Worthless Peons (also known as Ted's Band) in the series. The cast of Scrubs included Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, Ken Jenkins, John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes and Neil Flynn.

Lloyd reprised the role of Ted Buckland in three episodes of Cougar Town in 2011 and 2012. He played Ricky, the obsessive TV enthusiast, in the Seinfeld episodes "The Cigar Store Indian" and "The Pie." Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Night Court, Champs, Coach, The Last Frontier, Goode Behavior, Ink, Mad About You, The Drew Carey Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Two Guys, a Girl and Pizza Place, Spin City, Malcolm in the Middle, 'Til Death, The Middle, Marry Me, Dr. Ken, Alex, Inc., Modern Family and American Housewife. He appeared in eight episodes of Desperate Housewives as Dr. Albert Goldfine from 2004 to 2005.


Johnny Mandel

Johnny Mandel (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Composer Johnny Mandel wrote the M*A*S*H theme song. He died on June 29, 2020, at his home in Ojai, California. Mr. Mandel was 94.

He wrote Suicide Is Painless for the 1970 film M*A*S*H. It was later used for the TV series. He also created the theme songs for Banyon and Too Close for Comfort.

Some of his film score credits included I Want to Live!, The Americanization of Emily, The Sandpiper, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, Escape to Witch Mountain and Caddyshack.


Ron McLarty

Ron McLarty (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor, playwright, and novelist Ron McLarty starred in Champs and The Return of Jezebel James. He died in New York City on February 8, 2020, having lived with dementia since 2014.

McLarty starred as Coach Harris in the short-lived 1996 ABC sitcom Champs. The series starred Timothy Busfield, Ashley Crow, Libby Winters, Danny Pritchett, Kevin Nealon, Julia Campbell, Ed Marinaro and Paul McCrane.

He appeared as Ronald Tompkins the short-lived 2008 Fox sitcom The Return of Jezebel James. The series starred Parker Posey, Lauren Ambrose, Michael Arden, Scott Cohen and Haysha Deitsch.

McLarty starred as Sgt. Frank Belson in the 1985-1988 ABC detective drama Spenser: For Hire. He played Det. Lt. Ralph Ruskin in the 1990 ABC police musical/drama Cop Rock. He provided voices for Courage the Cowardly Dog.


Norma Michaels

Norma Michaels (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Character actress Norma Michaels had a recurring role in The King of Queens and made many other sitcom guest appearances. She died on January 20, 2020, in Palm Springs, California. Ms. Michaels was 95.

She appeared as an elderly woman named Josephine in seven episodes of The King of Queens from 2004 to 2006. Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included The Bill Cosby Show, Step by Step, Everybody Loves Raymond, iCarly, Rules of Engagement, Modern Family, 2 Broke Girls, Melissa & Joey, The Crazy Ones, Suburgatory, Playing House, Life in Pieces, Angie Tribeca and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Her film credits included Easy A, Wedding Crashers and Hello, My Name Is Doris.


Thomas L. Miller

Thomas L. Miller (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Television producer and writer Thomas L. Miller worked on Perfect Strangers, Full House and Family Matters. He died on April 5, 2020, from complications from heart disease in Salisbury, Connecticut. Mr. Miller was 79.

Miller and Edward K. Milkis formed Miller-Milkis Productions in 1969. They worked as producers on Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Blansky's Beauties, Angie, Makin' It and Out of the Blue. Miller-Milkis-Boyett Productions sitcoms included Goodtime Girls, Bosom Buddies and Joanie Loves Chachi.

Robert L. Boyett joined the company in 1978. They became Miller-Boyett Productions. Miller-Boyett was responsible for family-oriented hit sitcoms such as Valerie/The Hogan Family, Perfect Strangers, Full House, Family Matters and Step by Step. Some of their other sitcoms included Going Places, The Family Man, Getting By, On Our Own, Meego, Two of a Kind and Fuller House.

Some of his sitcom writing credits included Nanny and the Professor, Me and the Chimp, Out of the Blue, Goodtime Girls, Bosom Buddies, Going Places, Getting By, Meego, Step by Step, Family Matters and Two of a Kind.


Jane Milmore

Jane Milmore (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Television actress, writer and producer Jane Milmore worked on Newhart, Martin and The Hughleys. She died on February 4, 2020, in Los Angeles from pancreatic cancer. Ms. Millmore was 64.

Milmore's sitcom acting credits included Newhart, Anything But Love, Syndey, Martin, Daddy Dearest and The Hughleys.

Her writing credits included Newhart, Syndey, Anything But Love, Nurses, Martin, Daddy Dearest, The Wayans Bros., Bless This House, Suddenly Susan, Yes Dear, The Hughleys and Center of the Universe. She received an Emmy nomination for the 1990 CBS special I Love Lucy the Very First Show.

Some of her producing credits included Nurses, Martin, Daddy Dearest (also co-creator), The Wayans Bros., Bless This House, Yes Dear, The Hughleys and Center of the Universe.


Kellye Nakahara

Kellye Nakahara (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Kellye Nakahara was best known for playing Nurse Kealani Kellye in M*A*S*H. She died from cancer at her home in Pasadena, California on February 16, 2020. Ms. Nakahara was 72.

Nakahara appeared as Lt. Nurse Kealani Kellye in 165-169 episodes of the CBS sitcom M*A*S*H from 1973 to 1983.

Her sitcom guest appearances included At Ease, Growing Pains and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Some of her television guest appearances included Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Little House on the Prairie, Matt Houston, Lottery!, Otherworld, Hunter, Crisis Center and NYPD Blue.

She appeared as Mrs. Ho, the domestic cook, in the 1985 film Clue. Some of her other film credits included She's Having a Baby, Shattered, 3 Ninjas Kick Back, Black Day Blue Night and Doctor Dolittle (1998). Outside of her acting career, she worked as a watercolor artist who painted and exhibited under her married name, Kellye Wallett.


Lori Nelson

Lori Nelson (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Lori Nelson starred as Greta Hanson in How to Marry a Millionaire. She died on August 23, 2020, at her home in Porter Ranch, Los Angeles. She suffered from Alzheimer's disease for several years before her death. Ms. Nelson was 87.

Nelson played Greta Hanson, a brainy psychology major who works as an usher on the television game show Go For Broke, in the first season of the syndicated sitcom How to Marry a Millionaire from 1957 to 1958. The series also starred Merry Anders and Barbara Eden. Nelson opted to leave the series after the first season, and her character was written out as having married a gas station owner and moved away to California. She was replaced by Lisa Gaye as Gwen Kirby for the second season.

She made guest appearances in It's a Great Life, Bachelor Father and Family Affair. Some of her other television credits included Wanted: Dead or Alive, Wagon Train, The Millionaire, Tales of Wells Fargo, Lock-Up and Laramie.


Claudette Nevins

Claudette Nevins (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Claudette Nevins starred in Husbands, Wives & Lovers and made many sitcom guest appearances. She died on February 20, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Nevins was 82.

Nevins starred as Courtney Fielding in the short-lived 1978 CBS sitcom Husbands, Wives & Lovers. The hour-long series was created by Joan Rivers. It also starred Jesse Welles, Ron Rifkin, Stephen Pearlman, Cynthia Harris, Eddie Barth, Lynne Marie Stewart, Mark Lonow, Randee Heller and Charles Siebert.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included The Bob Newhart Show, Three's Company, Police Squad!, One Day at a Time, New Love, American Style, Head of the Class, Trial and Error (1988), Just in Time, Designing Women, Teech, Thunder Alley and Coach.

She starred as Margaret Thompson, Andy Thompson's (Andy Griffith) wife, in the 1970-1971 CBS drama Headmaster. She played Angela Aries in the 1981-1982 CBS drama Behind the Screen. She starred as Barbara Huffman in the 1979 CBS drama Married: The First Year.


Ken Osmond

Ken Osmond (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor and police officer Ken Osmond was best known for his iconic role as Eddie Haskell in Leave it to Beaver. He died at his home in Los Angeles on May 18, 2020, from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and peripheral artery disease. Mr. Osmond was 76.

Osmond's prolific career as a child actor began at the age of four. He appeared as an extra in the 1952 film Plymouth Adventure, which starred Spencer Tracy and Gene Tierney. His first speaking role was at age 9 in the 1953 film So Big, which starred Jane Wyman and Sterling Hayden. He had uncredited roles in Good Morning, Miss Dove in 1954 and Everything but the Truth in 1956.

Some of his early television guest appearances included Screen Directors Playhouse, Lassie, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Annie Oakley, Circus Boy, The Loretta Young Show, The Walter Winchell File, Official Detective, Telephone Time, Fury, Colt. 45, The Jack Benny Program and Wagon Train.

He landed the role of Wally Cleaver's (Tony Dow) mischievous best friend Eddie Haskell in Leave it to Beaver in 1957. The character of Eddie was supposed to be just a one time guest appearance, but they liked Osmond's portrayal so much that he appeared in 96 of the 234 episodes. Eddie was very polite to adults ("That's a lovely dress you're wearing, Mrs. Cleaver"), but he was often up to no good and bullied little kids when no parents were around. Leave it to Beaver aired on CBS for one season from 1957 to 1958 before moving to ABC for five additional seasons from 1958 to 1963. The cast also included Barbara Billingsley, Hugh Beaumont, Jerry Mathers, Frank Bank (1958-1963), Rusty Stevens (1958-1960), Stanley Fafara, Stephen Talbot (1959-1963), Richard Correll (1960-1963), Jeri Weil (1957-1960), Diane Brewster (1957-1958), Sue Randall (1958-1962) and Richard Deacon.

After Leave it to Beaver ended in 1963, he made guest appearances in Petticoat Junction in 1964 and The Munsters in 1966. He made his third and final appearance in Lassie in a 1967 episode where he played a motorcycle delivery man who offers the hitchhiking collie a lift in his sidecar. He appeared in the 1967 film C'mon, Let's Live a Little and had an uncredited role as Duke in the 1968 film With Six You Get Eggroll.

Osmond reprised his Eddie Haskell role in the 1983 CBS TV reunion movie Still the Beaver, which aired on March 19, 1983. The success of the movie led to the Still the Beaver sitcom series, which aired for one season on the Disney Channel from 1984 to 1985. It was later re-titled The New Leave it to Beaver and moved to WTBS for three additional seasons from 1986 to 1989. Osmond's real-life sons played his sons in the series. Eric Osmond appeared as Freddie Haskell and Christian Osmond played Eddie "Bomber" Haskell, Jr. . The cast also included Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers, Kipp Marcus, John Snee, Kaleena Kiff, Janice Kent and Frank Bank.

He made a cameo appearance as Eddie Sr. in the 1997 film Leave it to Beaver. Osmond appeared as Eddie Haskell in a 1991 episode of Parker Lewis Can't Lose and a 1992 episode of Hi Honey, I'm Home. He appeared as Freddie Bascomb in a 1983 episode of Happy Days and as Skip in a 1987 episode of Rags to Riches. He played Baxter Franklin the 1983 TV movie High School U.S.A..

After being typecast as Eddie Haskell, he found it difficult to find acting work. He joined the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1970 where he worked as a motorcycle officer. On September 20, 1980, Osmond was struck by five bullets while in a foot chase with a suspected car thief. He was awarded a lifetime pension and retired from the force in 1988. He later made his living from various Los Angeles-based rental properties which he maintained himself.

He co-authored the book Eddie: The Life and Times of America's Preeminent Bad Boy with Christopher J. Lynch in September 2014. Jerry Mathers wrote the foreword.


Regis Philbin

Regis Philbin (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Television presenter, talk show host, game show host, actor Regis Philbin was the co-host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee and later Live! with Regis and Kelly and the host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He also made many sitcom guest appearances. He died from a heart attack due to coronary artery disease on July 24, 2020, at a hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut. Mr. Philbin was 88.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Get Smart, Love, Americn Style, That Girl, The San Pedro Beach Bums, New Love, American Style, Mad About You, The Larry Sanders Show, Seinfeld, Hope and Gloria, Women of the House, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Life's Work, Spin City, Caroline in the City, The Simpsons (voice), Soul Man, LateLine, Becker, Family Guy (voice), Hope & Faith (3 episodes), Less Than Perfect, The Knights of Prosperity, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, Hot in Cleveland, New Girl, The Odd Couple (2015), Fresh Off the Boat and Single Parents.


Earl Pomerantz

Earl Pomerantz (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Emmy-winning writer and producer Earl Pomerantz worked on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers, The Cosby Show and Major Dad. He died on March 7, 2020, from an aneurysm in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Pomerantz was 75.

Pomerantz's writing career began in Canada in 1970 with the variety series The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour, which starred his brother Hart Pomerantz and Lorne Michaels. He won his first Emmy Award in 1976 for The Lily Tomlin Special, which was the winner for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Special. He was a writer for the TV specials Flip Wilson... Of Course in 1974 and Lily in 1975.

Some of his 1970s sitcom writing credits included Sanford and Son, Doc, Phyllis, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Tony Randall Show, The Betty White Show, The Bob Newhart Show and Rhoda.

He wrote three episodes of The Cosby Show in 1984. He won an Emmy Award in 1985 when The Cosby Show was the winner for Outstanding Comedy Series. Some of his other sitcom writing credits included Taxi, Best of the West (also the creator), Newhart, Cheers, Trying Times, Family Man (also the creator), Coming of Age, Major Dad, LateLine, Becker and Kristin.

He was the creator, producer, writer and theme song lyrics writer of the 1981-1982 ABC sitcom Best of the West, a spoof of westerns. The series starred Joel Higgins, Carlene Watkins, Meeno Peluce, Leonard Frey, Tom Ewell, Valri Bromfield, Tracey Walter and Macon McCalman.

Pomerantz created the short-lived 1988 ABC sitcom Family Man. The series starred Richard Libertini, Mimi Kennedy, Alison Sweeney, Whitby Hertford and Keeley Mari Gallagher.

He developed and worked as a producer for Major Dad. Some of his other producing credits included The Cosby Show, The Larry Sanders Show, LateLine, The Fighting Fitzgeralds and Kristin. He worked as a consultant on Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills, It's Garry Shandling's Show, Thea, The Larry Sanders Show, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, Goode Behavior, LateLine, Regular Joe and According to Jim.


Peggy Pope

Peggy Pope (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Peggy Pope starred in several short-lived sitcoms and made many sitcom guest appearances. She died on May 27, 2020, in Fort Collins, Colorado. Ms. Pope was 91.

Pope starred as Elaine Fusco in the short-lived 1973 CBS sitcom Calucci's Department. The series focused on Joe Calucci (James Coco), the supervisor of a New York City unemployment office. It also starred Candy Azzara, Jose Perez, Jack Fletcher, Bill Lazarus, Bernard Wexler and Rosette LeNoire.

She played Alice Fisher, the mother of 19-year-old Billy Fisher (Steve Guttenberg), in the short-lived 1979 sitcom Billy. The series also starred James Gallery, Paula Trueman, Michael Alaimo and Bruce Talkington.

Pope had a recurring role as Mrs. David in Soap from 1979 to 1981. Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included Bewitched, Rhoda, Mork & Mindy, Barney Miller (six episodes), The Golden Girls, Too Close for Comfort, Night Court, Kate & Allie, Have Faith, Anything But Love, Empty Nest, Nurses, Room for Two and Hope & Faith.

She was perhaps best known for her role as "the office lush", and later, recovering alcoholic, Margaret Foster, in the 1980 movie 9 to 5. Her character was known for the "atta girl" line. Pope later appeared in the 9 to 5 TV series in 1982. Her other film credits included The Last Starfighter and Once Bitten.


Elsa Raven

Elsa Raven (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Elsa Raven had a recurring role in Amen and made many sitcom guest appearances. She died on November 2, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Raven was 91.

Raven had a recurring role as Inga, the Deacon's (Sherman Hemsley) Swedish housekeeper, in 17 episodes of the NBC sitcom Amen from 1988 to 1990.

Some of her other sitcom guest appearances included Archie Bunker's Place, Buffalo Bill, Family Ties, Nothing in Common, Get a Life, Davis Rules, Dear John, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Murphy Brown, The Larry Sanders Show, Madman of the People, Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond.

Raven is also known for her small but memorable role in Back to the Future (1985) as the clock tower lady with her phrase "Save the clock tower!" while gathering local donations to preserve the clock as-is, in opposition to Mayor Wilson's initiative to replace the clock altogether. She played Ida Straus in Titanic (1997).


Marguerite Ray

Marguerite Ray (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Marguerite Ray starred in Sanford. She died on on November 18, 2020 in Los Angeles. Ms. Ray was 89.

Ray starred as Evelyn "Eve" Lewis, a wealthy Beverly Hills widow and girlfriend of Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx) in the 1980-1981 NBC sitcom Sanford. The series also starred Dennis Burkley, Nathaniel Taylor, Suzanne Stone, Cathy Cooper, Percy Rodriguez and Clinton Derricks-Carroll.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included Bewitched, The Bill Cosby Show, The Odd Couple, Good Times and Sanford and Son.

Ray was known for originating the role of Mamie Johnson in the soap opera The Young and the Restless. She was the first black regular on the show.


Marge Redmond

Marge Redmond (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Marge Redmond was best known for her role as Sister Jacqueline in The Flying Nun. She died on February 10, 2020. Ms. Redmond was 95.

Redmond starred as Mrs. Florence Kimball in the short-lived 1966 ABC sitcom The Double Life of Henry Phyfe. The series starred Red Buttons, Fred Clark, Zeme North and Parley Baer.

She starred as Sister Jacqueline, a wise nun with a sense of humor and Sister Bertrille's friend, in the 1967-1970 ABC sitcom The Flying Nun. Her voice is also heard as the narrator, who sets up each episode. She received an Emmy nomination in 1968 for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Comedy.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included The Goldbergs (1955), The Ann Sothern Show, Peter Loves Mary, Hennesey, Pete and Gladys, The Donna Reed Show, My Three Sons, My Favorite Martian, The Munsters, My Mother the Car, The Sandy Duncan Show, Goodnight, Beantown, Mama's Family, Murphy Brown, Hooperman, Married with Children and The Cosby Show.


Carl Reiner

Carl Reiner (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Emmy-winning actor, comedian, screenwriter, director and author Carl Reiner created The Dick Van Dyke Show and appeared as Alan Brady. He died of natural causes at his Beverly Hills, California, home on June 29, 2020. Mr. Reiner was 98.

Reiner's television career began as a regular performer on the 1950-1954 NBC variety series Your Show of Shows. He also contributed ideas to writers such as Mel Brooks and Neil Simon. He received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 1954. The series also starred Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Howard Morris, Bill Hayes, Judy Johnson and James Starbuck.

He worked with Sid Caesar again on the 1954-1957 NBC comedy/variety series Caesar's Hour. He played George Hansen in the series, which had a varied format from a full hour sitcom, to musical revues, to a variety show or a combination of all three. Reiner also wrote three episodes. He won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in 1957 and 1958. The cast included Howard Morris, Nanette Fabray, Milt Kamen and Janet Blair.

Reiner was best known as the creator, producer, writer, and actor on 1961-1966 CBS sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show. He appeared as Alan Brady. He was the egocentric, demanding, high maintenance, toupee-wearing star of The Alan Brady Show. The character was originally an unseen character with his back to the camera or only in voice, but he began to make full-face appearances in season four. The Alan Brady character was voiced or seen in 32 episodes. Reiner wrote and worked as a story consultant for many episodes. The series was preceded by the 1960 pilot Head of the Family with a different cast. He wrote the pilot and starred as Robbie Petrie. It was based on his own experiences as a TV writer.

The Dick Van Dyke Show won 15 Emmy Awards. The cast included Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Rose Marie, Morey Amsterdam, Larry Matthews, Richard Deacon, Jerry Paris and Ann Morgan Guilbert. Reiner reprised the role of Alan Brady on the February 16, 1995, episode of Mad About You. He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for the role. He reunited with the surviving cast members for the 2004 special The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.

Reiner created the 1971-1974 CBS sitcom The New Dick Van Dyke Show. He also wrote 13 episodes and directed 10 episodes of the series. He created the short-lived 1973-1974 NBC sitcom Lotsa Luck with Bill Persky and Sam Denoff. Reiner worked as an executive producer and directed four episodes of the 1967-1968 sitcom Good Morning, World.

He starred as Mr. Angel, an emissary of heaven who came down to Earth to grant wishes to those who had performed a good deed, in the short-lived 1976 ABC sitcom Good Heavens. He also worked as an executive producer and directed seven episodes of the series.

Reiner had a recurring role as Max Miller, Elka's (Betty White) on-again/off-again (mostly off) boyfriend, in eight episodes of the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland from 2010 to 2014. Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Frasier (voice), The Larry Sanders Show, The Bernie Mac Show (3 episodes), Life with Bonnie (3 episodes as station owner Mr. Portinbody), Two and a Half Men (4 episodes as Marty Pepper), Parks and Recreation, Young & Hungry and Angie Tribeca.

He provided the voice of Sarmoti in the 2004-2005 NBC animated sitcom Father of the Pride. Some of his other television voice credits included King of the Hill, Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series, The Penguins of Madagascar, The Cleveland Show (he also wrote an episode), American Dad!, Bob's Burgers, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, WordGirl, Shimmer and Shine, Family Guy and Justice League: Action. He provided the voice of Carl Reineroceros for the 2019 film Toy Story 4 and one episode of the Disney+ series Forky Asks a Question.

Reiner teamed with Mel Brooks as a comedy duo on The Steve Allen Show starting in 1960. He played the straight man in 2000 Year Old Man. They released a series of 5 comedy albums and a 1975 animated television special, with the last album in the series winning a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Comedy Album in 1998. They were featured in the 2017 documentary If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.

He directed the Steve Martin films The Jerk (1979), Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982), The Man with Two Brains (1983) and All of Me (1984). His other directing credits included Enter Laughing (1967), The Comic (1969), Where's Poppa? (1970), Oh, God! (1977), The One and Only (1978), Summer Rental (1985), Summer School (1987), Bert Rigby, You're a Fool (1989), Sibling Rivalry (1990), Fatal Instinct (1993) and That Old Feeling (1997). He also appeared in many of his films.

Reiner starred as Saul Bloom in Ocean's Eleven (2001), Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). Some of his other film acting credits included Happy Anniversary (1958), The Gazebo (1959), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966).


Gene Reynolds

Gene Reynolds (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Actor, writer, director and producer Gene Reynolds co-created M*A*S*H with Larry Gelbart and worked as one of the producers for the first five seasons. He was a six time Emmy winner. He died of heart failure on February 3, 2020, at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. Mr. Reynolds was 96.

Reynolds' sitcom acting credits included The People's Choice, I Love Lucy, Hennesey and Captain Nice.

His sitcom writing credits included Room 222, Karen, and M*A*S*H. He directed episodes of Hennesey, The Jim Backus Show, Leave it to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, Father of the Bride, The Farmer's Daughter, My Three Sons, The Donna Reed Show, Wendy and Me, Gidget, The Munsters, F Troop, Hogan's Heroes, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Room 222, Karen, M*A*S*H, The Duck Factory and Monty.

Some of his producing credits included The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Room 222, Anna and the King, M*A*S*H, Lou Grant and Blossom.


Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Diana Rigg starred as Diana Smythe in the sitcom Diana and as Emma Peel in the spy drama The Avengers. She died at her London home on September 10, 2020, from lung cancer.

Rigg starred as Diana Amythe, a recently divorced British fashion designer who moves to the States in the hopes of becoming more noticed in the fashion world by relocating to New York City, in the short-lived 1973-1974 NBC sitcom Diana. The series also stasrred David Sheiner, Richard B. Shull, Barbarar Barrie, Robert Moore, Carol Androsky, Richard Mulligan and Liam Dunn.

She starred as Emma Peel in the spy drama The Avengers from 1965 to 1968. She played Olenna Tyrell in 18 episodes of Game of Thrones from 2013 to 2017.


Naya Rivera

Naya Rivera (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress, singer and model Naya Rivera starred in The Royal Family and Glee. She drowned on July 8, 2020, at Lake Piru, near Santa Clarita, California, while swimming with her four-year-old son Josey, who was found alone on their rented boat.

Rivera's television career began at the age of four with her role as Hillary Winston in the 1991-1992 CBS sitcom The Royal Family. The series also starred Redd Foxx, Della Reese, Mariann Aaida, Sylver Gregory, Larenz Tate, Jackée Harry and Shabaka.

Some of her sitcom guest appearances included Family Matters (3 episodes), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Sinbad Show, Smart Guy, Even Stevens, My Wife and Kids, The Bernie Mac Show, 8 Simple Rules and Girlfriends.

She was best known for her role as lesbian cheerleader Santana Lopez on the 2009-2015 Fox musical comedy-drama Glee. She starred as Collette Jones in Step Up: High Water.


David Schramm

David Schramm (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor David Schramm was best known for playing the role of Roy Biggins in Wings. He died from a heart attack on March 28, 2020, in New York City. Mr. Schramm was 73.

Schramm starred as Roy Biggins, the blustery, cantankerous rival airline owner of Aeromass, in the 1990-1997 NBC sitcom Wings. He appeared in all 172 episodes of the series. The series also starred Timothy Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard, Rebecca Schull, Thomas Haden Church (1990-1995), Tony Shalhoub (1991-1997), Farrah Forke (1992-1994) and Amy Yasbeck (1994-1997).

He played Joe McGill, the father of Tess McGill (Sandra Bullock), in the short-lived 1990 NBC sitcom Working Girl, which was based on the 1988 film of the same name. The series also starred Nana Visitor, Judy Prescott, George Newbern, Edye Byrde, Tom O'Rourke, Anthony Tyler Quinn and B.J. Ward.

Some of his TV guest appearances included Another World, Spenser: For Hire, The Equalizer, Wiseguy, Jake and the Fatman, Max Monroe and Space Cases. His film credits included Let It Ride (1989), Johnny Handsome (1989) and A Shock to the System (1990).


Esther Scott

Esther Scott (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Esther Scott starred in The Geena Davis Show. She died on February 14, 2020 in Los Angeles, after suffering a heart attack. Ms. Scott was 66.

Scott starred as Gladys, Teddie Cochran's (Geena Davis) housekeeper, in the 2000-2001 ABC sitcom The Geena Davis Show The series also starred Peter Horton, John Francis Daley, Makenzie Vega, Mimi Rogers, Kim Coles and Harland Williams.

She appeared as Doris in the short-lived 2004 The WB sitcom The Help. The series starred Brenda Strong, David Faustino, Megan Fox, Graham Murdoch, Keri Lynn Pratt, Jack Axelrod, Mindy Cohn, Marika Dominczyk, Camille Guaty, Antonio Sabato Jr., Al Santos and Tori Spelling.

Scott had a recurring role as Rolanda Johnson in four episodes of City Guys. Her other sitcom appearances included Full House, Sister, Sister, Ellen and The Steve Harvey Show. She played Delma Warner in 24 episodes of The CW drama Hart of Dixie. Her film credits included Boyz n the Hood, The Kid, You Got Served, Dreamgirls, Gangster Squad and The Birth of a Nation.


Lynn Shelton

Lynn Shelton (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Television and film director Lynn Shelton worked on a number of sitcoms. She died of acute myeloid leukemia in Los Angeles on May 16, 2020. Ms. Shelton was 54.

Shelton's sitcom directing credits included Ben and Kate (1 episode), New Girl (5 episodes), The Mindy Project (2 episodes), Maron (2 episodes), The Good Place (1 episode), Santa Clarita Diet (1 episode), Casual (3 episodes), Ghosted (1 episode), Fresh Off the Boat (9 episodes), Love (4 episodes) and A.P. Bio (2 episodes).

Her film directing credits included We Go Way Back, My Effortless Brilliance, Humpday, Your Sister's Sister, Touchy Feely, Laggies, Outside In and Sword of Trust.


Fred Silverman

Fred Silverman (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Television executive and producer Fred Silverman worked at the big three networks for ABC, CBS and NBC. He died from cancer on January 30, 2020, at his home in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles. Mr. Silverman was 82.

He was the Vice President, Programs, heading the entire program department at CBS beginning in 1970. He orchestrated the "rural purge" of 1971, which eventually eliminated many popular country-oriented shows, such as Green Acres, Mayberry R.F.D., Hee Haw and The Beverly Hillbillies from the CBS schedule. He brought in series such as All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and M*A*S*H. Those series led to spin-offs such as Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons and Rhoda.

Silverman was named president of ABC Entertainment in 1975. He helped Happy Days to the top of the ratings and generated a hit spin-off from that show, Laverne & Shirley. He greenlit other sitcoms such as Three's Company and The Love Boat.

He left to become President and CEO of NBC in 1978. He developed successful sitcoms such as Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts of Life and Gimme a Break!.


Jeremy Stevens

Jeremy Stevens (IMDB/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Emmy-winning writer and producer Jeremy Stevens worked on Everybody Loves Raymond. He died of renal failure on October 27, 2020, at his home in Northridge, California. Mr. Stevens was 82.

Some of his early sitcom writing credits included Carter Country, What's Happening!!, The Bad News Bears, Joe's World and Mork & Mindy. He worked as a writer with his writing partner Tom Moore on the talk show satires Fernwood Tonight and America 2-Night.

Stevens wrote four episodes of Dear John in 1989 and 1990. He worked as a producer for 24 episodes from 1989 to 1990. He appeared as Dick in the 1992 episode "Heartburn and Headache." His first sitcom acting role was as Marty Davidson, a man proposing marriage to Brenda (Julie Kavner), in the 1976 Rhoda episode "You Deserve a Break Today."

He worked as a writer on eight episodes of Coach from 1993 to 1995. He worked as a producer for the series from 1993 to 1995. He was a creative consultant for Baby Talk, The Man in the Family and Down the Shore.

Stevens wrote 15 episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond from 1996 to 2005. He worked as a producer for the entire nine-year run of the series. He was also a creative consultant from 1996 to 1997. He shared Emmy wins in 2003 and 2005 when Everybody Loves Raymond won for Outstanding Comedy Series. Stevens later worked as a supervisor on the successful Russian version Voroniny, which was created by Philip Rosenthal.

He was one of the founding writers for the PBS educational children's television series The Electric Company. He won his first Emmy Award in 1973 when the series won for Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming - Entertainment/Fictional.

Stevens worked as a head writer for NBC's Saturday Night Live in 1980-1981. Some of his other television writing credits included Playboy After Dark, The Diahann Carroll Show, The Richard Pryor Show, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters and Thicke of the Night.

He co-wrote with Mark Reisman the 1985 film Summer Rental. It was directed by Carl Reiner and starred John Candy. Stevens also had a cameo role in the film.


Jerry Stiller

Jerry Stiller (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Actor and comedian Jerry Stiller was best known for his roles as Frank Costanza in Seinfeld and as Arthur Spooner in The King of Queens. He died from natural causes at his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on May 11, 2020. Mr. Stiller was 92.

Stiller married Anne Meara in 1954. The comedy duo Stiller and Meara was successful in the 1960s and 1970s. They made numerous appearances on variety and talk shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. They played Barney and Grace Dickerson, Howie Dickerson's (John Calvin) parents, in four episodes of The Paul Lynde Show in 1972-1973. Some of their other sitcom guest appearances together included The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Love, American Style, Rhoda, Archie Bunker's Place and The Love Boat. They hosted HBO Sneak Previews from 1979 to 1982. They had a sitcom pilot called The Stiller & Meara Show in 1986. In 2010, they had a Yahoo! web series called Stiller & Meara.

He starred as Gus Duzik in the short-lived 1975-1976 CBS sitcom Joe and Sons. He was the best friend of Joe Vitale (Richard Casellano) and worked with him at the Hobooken Sheet and Tube Company. The series also starred Florence Stanley, Bobbi Jordan, Barry Miller and Jimmy Baio.

Stiller played Sid Wilbur, the loyal maitre d' at a posh Manhattan restaurant, in the 1988-1989 comedy-drama Tattingers. The cast included Stephen Collins, Blythe Danner, Patrice Colihan, Chay Lentin, Jessica Prunell, Mary Beth Hurt, Roderick Cook, Zach Grenier, Rob Morrow, Sue Francis Pai, Yusef Bulos, Robert Clohessy, Simon Jones, Chris Elliott and Anna Levine.

He appeared as the cantankerous Frank Costanza, the father of George Costanza (Jason Alexander) and husband of Estelle Costanza (Estelle Harris), in 26 episodes of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld from 1993 to 1998. Frank Costanza was a former cook in the Army and learned to speak Korean in while serving in the Korean War. He invented the holiday Festivus as a reaction to the cultural commercialism of Christmas. Stiller received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1997 and won an American Comedy Award for Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series in 1998 for the role. The series also starred Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards.

He starred as the eccentric Arthur Spooner in the 1998-2007 CBS sitcom The King of Queens. Arthur Spooner was the widowed father of Carrie Heffernan (Leah Remini) and father-in-law of Doug Heffernan (Kevin James). He lived in the basement of their Rego Park, Queens, New York house. His fourth marriage was to Spence's (Patton Oswalt) mother Veronica Olcin (Anne Meara) in the final season. The series also starred Victor Williams, Larry Romano (1998-2001), Lisa Rieffel (1998), Gary Valentine (1999-2007) and Nicole Sullivan (2001-2005).

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Phyllis, Private Benjamin, Alice, Amanda's, The Larry Sanders Show and Sex and the City.

He provided the voice of Uncle Max for The Lion King 1½ and Harvey for Planes: Fire and Rescue. Some of his other voice credits included Linus! The Lion Hearted, Teacher's Pet, Fish Hooks and Foodfight!.

Stiller appeared with his actor son Ben Stiller in films such as Zoolander, Heavyweights, Hot Pursuit, The Heartbreak Kid and Zoolander 2. Some of his other film credits included The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The Ritz, Nadine, Hairspray (1988), A Fish in the Bathtub and My 5 Wives.


Duane Tatro

Duane Tatro (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Composer Duane Tatro worked on episodes of M*A*S*H and The Love Boat. He died on August 9, 2020, in Bell Canyon, California. Mr. Tatro was 93.

Some of his other TV credits included The Invaders, Cade's Country, Mannix, Mission: Impossible, The F.B.I., Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, Vega$, Dynasty and Hotel.


William Thomas Jr.

William Thomas Jr. (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor William Thomas Jr. starred in Frank's Place and had a recurring role in the eighth and final season of The Cosby Show. He died on November 14, 2020, in Burbank, California. He was 73.

He starred as Cool Charles, the versatile handyman, in the 1987-1988 CBS comedy-drama Frank's Place. The series also starred Tim Reid, Robert Harper, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Francesca P. Roberts, Frances E. Williams, Virginia Capers, Tony Burton, Charles Lampkin, Lincoln Kilpatrick and Don Yesso.

He played played Vanessa Huxtable's (Tempestt Bledsoe) fiancé Dabnis Brickey in seven episodes during the eighth and final season of the NBC sitcom The Cosby Show from 1991 to 1992.

Some of his other sitcom guest appearances included Getting By, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Thunder Alley, Home Improvement, Love & War, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Family Matters, Hope & Gloria, Sister, Sister and The Bernie Mac Show.

He played Woody in the short-lived 1989 ABC drama Studio 5-B. He starred as Det. William Donald Potts in the 1990 ABC police musical/drama Cop Rock.


Ann E. Todd (Ann Basart)

Ann E. Todd (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actress Ann E. Todd (later Ann Basart) starred as Joyce Erwin the 1950s sitcom The Stu Erwin Show. She died on February 7 in California after battling dementia for seven years. She was 88.

She played Joyce Erwin, the daughter of Stu Erwin and June Erwin (June Collyer), in the ABC sitcom The Stu Erwin Show from 1950 to 1954. She was replaced by Merry Anders for the final season.

She appeared as a child actress in almost 40 films between 1939 and 1953. Later in life she became a noted music librarian.


Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Canadian-American television personality and game show host Alex Trebek was best known as the longtime host of Jeopardy!. He died at his home in Los Angeles on November 8, 2020, after a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Mr. Trebek was 80.

Trebek's television career began in 1961 in his native Canada where he worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). His first hosting job was on a music program called Music Hop in 1963. He hosted the Toronto version of the high school quiz show Reach for the Top from 1966 to 1973. In 1969, he hosted the game show Strategy. He hosted the short film series Pick and Choose in 1971. He hosted I'm Here Til 9, the local morning drive radio show on CBC Toronto, from 1971 to 1972.

He moved to the United States in 1973. He hosted the 1973-1974 NBC daytime game show The Wizard of Odds. A year later he began hosting NBC's High Rollers from 1974 to 1976. It was brought back from 1978 until 1980. Between his stints on High Rollers, he hosted the short-lived CBS game show Double Dare from 1976 to 1977, which was produced by Mark Goodson—Bill Todman Productions. He hosted the second season of the syndicated game show The $128,000 Question from 1977 to 1978. He hosted the syndicated Pitfall from 1981 to 1982. After High Rollers was cancelled in 1980, he moved to NBC where he hosted Battlestars (1981-1982) and later The New Battlestars (1983).

Trebek began hosting the syndicated game show Jeopardy! when it was revived in 1984. He hosted the series for 36 years and over 8,000 episodes from 1984 until his death. His last day filming in the studio was on October 29. His final broadcast will air on Christmas Day on December 25. Trebek received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host seven times (1989, 1990, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2019, and 2020) for his work on Jeopardy!. The series has won a record 39 Daytime Emmy Awards as well as a Peabody Award. He hosed Super Jeopardy! in 1990. In January 2020, he hosted ABC's primetime tournament Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time.

He hosted the NBC daytime game show Classic Concentration from 1987 to 1991. This was his second show for Mark Goodson. In 1991, he made broadcast history by becoming the first person to host three American game shows at the same time when he began hosting NBC's To Tell the Truth. He hosted the show from February to March 1991.

Trebek also made appearances in numerous television series, in which he usually played himself. Some of his sitcom guest appearances included Mama's Family, Cheers, Pacific Station, The Golden Girls, The Larry Sanders Show, Dave's World, The Nanny, Blossom, Seinfeld, Ned and Stacey, Ladies Man, How I Met Your Mother and Hot in Cleveland. His voice credits included Rugrats, The Simpsons, Arthur and Family Guy. Some of his other television guest appearances included Vega$ (as Arthur Martin, credited as Alex Trebeck), Beverly Hills 90210, The X-Files, Baywatch and Orange Is the New Black.


Saul Turteltaub

Saul Turteltaub (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Television writer and producer Saul Turteltaub worked on 23 sitcoms, including That Girl, Sanford and Son and What's Happening!!. He died on April 9, 2020, at his home in Beverly Hills, California. Mr. Turteltaub was 87.

Turteltaub worked as a producer on That Girl from 1969 to 1971. He also directed 6 episodes and wrote 26 episodes of the series. The series starred Marlo Thomas, Ted Bessell, Lew Parker, Bernie Kopell and Rosemary DeCamp.

His sitcom producing credits included The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Love, American Style, Sanford and Son, Sanford Arms, What's Happening!!, E/R (1984-1985), You Again?, Throb and Baby Talk.

Some of his sitcom writing credits included Hey, Landlord, Accidental Family, A Touch of Grace, The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Love, American Style, Lotsa Luck!, Grady, Sanford and Son (23 episodes), Sanford Arms, What's Happening!!, Carter Country, 13 Queens of Boulevard, One in a Million, One of the Boys, Double Trouble, E/R (1984-1985), Foley Square, You Again?, Kate & Allie, Chicken Soup, Baby Talk and Cosby.

He received three Emmy nominations as part of the writing team for That Was the Week that Was in 1964 and 1965 and for The Carol Burnett Show in 1968.


Lyle Waggoner

Lyle Waggoner (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Actor Lyle Waggoner starred in The Carol Burnett Show and made a number of sitcom guest appearances. He died in his home in the Los Angeles area on March 17, 2020, from cancer. Mr. Waggoner was 84.

Waggoner was a regular on the CBS comedy/variety series The Carol Burnett Show for the first seven seasons from 1967 to 1974. The cast also included Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman (1967-1977), Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway (1975-1979) and Dick Van Dyke (1977).

He portrayed Maj. Steve Trevor and Steve Trevor Jr. the 1976-1979 ABC/CBS adventure series Wonder Woman. The series also starred Lynda Carter, Richard Eastham (1976-1977), Beatrice Cohen (1976-1977), Norman Burton (1977) and Saundra Sharp (1977-1979).

Some of his sitcom guest appearances included The Governor & J.J., The San Pedro Beach Bums, The Love Boat, Happy Days, Mork & Mindy, Happy Days, It's a Living, Daddy Dearest, Cybill, Ellen, Pauly, Alright Already, The Naked Truth, Love Boat: The Next Wave, That '70s Show and The War at Home.


Fred Willard

Fred Willard (IMDB/Wikipedia/The Interviews: An Oral History of Television)

Actor and comedian Fred Willard appeared as Jerry Hubbard in Fernwood 2 Night and America 2-Night, as Hank MacDougall in Everybody Loves Raymond and as Frank Dunphy in Modern Family. He died on May 15, 2020 at his Los Angeles home. The cause of death was cardiac arrest. Mr. Willard was 86.

Willard's early sitcom guest appearances included Pistols 'n' Petticoats, Hey, Landlord, Get Smart, Love, American Style, The Bob Newhart Show, Karen, Good Heavens and Laverne & Shirley. He was a regular on the 1973 ABC comedy/variety series The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour.

He starred as District Attorney H.R. 'Bud' Nugent in the short-lived 1976-1977 NBC sitcom Sirota's Court. The series also starred Michael Constantine, Cynthia Harris, Kathleen Miller, Ted Ross and Owen Bush.

Willard starred as Jerry Hubbard, Barth Gimble's (Martin Mull) sidekick and announcer, in the Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman spin-off series Forever Fernwood (1977), Fernwood 2 Night (1977) and America 2-Night (1978). The Norman Lear created series parodied the nighttime talk shows of the day. It also featured Frank De Vol as bandleader Happy Kyne. Willard reunited with Mull in eight episodes of Roseanne from 1995 to 1997. He played Scott, a romantic partner of Leon Carp.

He played the bartender in the 1987-1989 syndicated sitcom D.C. Follies. The Sid and Marty Krofft created series was set at a Washington, D.C. bar and featured puppet caricatures of politicians and popular culture figures.

Willard had a recurring role as Hank MacDougall in 13 episodes of the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond from 2003 to 2005. Hank and Pat MacDougall (Georgia Engel) were Amy's (Monica Horan) parents. Willard received three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2003, 2004 and 2005 for the role. The series starred Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle and Madylin Sweeten.

He starred as Jerry Stage in the 2001-2002 The WB sitcom Maybe It's Me. The series was centered on the life of teenager Molly Stage (Reagan Dale Neis) and her eccentric and often-embarrassing family, including her parents (insanely frugal mom, played by Julia Sweeney, and soccer-obsessed dad, played by Fred Willard), her two older brothers, her little twin sisters, and her grandparents. The series also starred Vicki Davis, Andrew W. Walker, Patrick Levis, Daniella and Deanna Cantermen, Dabbs Greer and Ellen Albertini Dow.

Willard starred as Fred Hawkins, the father of Ryan Hawkins (Eric Lively), in the short-lived 2003 Fox sitcom A Minute with Stan Hooper. The series also starred Norm Macdonald, Penelope Ann Miller, Brian Howe, Raegan Dale Neis, Garret Dillahunt and Daniel Roebuck.

He starred as Marsh McGinley, WURG's fairly dim-witted sports anchor, in the 2007-2008 Fox sitcom Back to You. The series also starred Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Ayda Field, Josh Gad, Ty Burrell, Laura Marano and Lily Jackson.

Willard had a recurring role as Frank Dunphy, the father of Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) and grandfather of Haley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter) and Luke (Nolan Gould), in 14 episodes of Modern Family from 2009 to 2020. In 2010, he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for the role.

He will appear in the recurring role of Fred Naird, the Secretary of the Defense, in the upcoming Netflix comedy Space Force. The series, which will premiere on May 29, stars Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers and Tawny Newsome. Interestingly enough, Willard starred as Captain Thomas Woods in a 1978 NBC unsold sitcom pilot called Space Force.

Some of his sitcom guest appearances in the 1980s and 1990s included The Love Boat, Mama's Family, Fast Times, Out of This World, The Golden Girls, Nurses, Married with Children, Dream On, The Jackie Thomas Show, Dave's World, Family Matters, The Mommies, Murphy Brown, Friends, Clueless, Sister, Sister, Step by Step, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Mad About You, Just Shoot Me! and Ladies Man.

He had a recurring role as Mike Morton in three episodes of the 2013 HBO comedy Family Tree. Some of his later sitcom guest appearances included The Hughleys, That '70s Show, The Drew Carey Show, Worst Week, Everybody Hates Chris, Raising Hope, Hot in Cleveland, Community, The Odd Couple (2016) and 9JKL. He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2015 for his role as John Forrester in the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful.

Willard was one of the original hosts of the NBC reality series Real People in 1979 and again from 1981 to 1983. He returned with Sarah Purcell to host a one-hour retrospective special on October 1, 1991. He hosted the 1985-1986 talk show What's Hot, What's Not. It earned him a daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Talk Show Host. In 1990, Willard hosted the cable TV show Access America on the Ha! Comedy Network.

He was well known for his roles in the Christopher Guest mockumentary films Waiting for Guffman (1996), Best in Show (2000), A Mighty Wind (2003), For Your Consideration (2006) and Mascots (2016). He played Air Force Lt. Bob Hookstratten in Rob Reiner's 1984 mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap. He starred as station director Edward "Ed" Harken in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013).


Art Wolff

Art Wolff (IMDB/Wikipedia)

Television director and acting coach worked on a number of sitcoms. He died at Mount Sinai West in New York City on November 16, 2020, of heart failure. Mr. Wolff was 82.

Some of his sitcom directing credits included Pursuit of Happiness, The Wonder Years, Dear John, Tattinger's, Seinfeld (the original pilot episode "The Seinfeld Chronicles"), It's Garry Shandling's Show, Sydney, Grand, The Powers That Be, Dream On and Rhythm & Blues.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, July 27

The Goldbergs - "Couple Off" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Barry and Joanne crash Erica and Geoff’s peaceful weekend camping trip, they end up in a competition to see who is the better couple, causing some unexpected shifts in relationships. After learning that Brea thinks Adam has an easy, privileged life, Adam seeks to prove her wrong by getting a job but quickly learns she might be right.

Home Economics - "Mermaid Taffeta Wedding Dress, $1,999" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
The Hayworth family is invited to the wedding of longtime family friend Spags. When Connor enlists Tom’s help to write and re-write a wedding toast, things take an unexpected turn between the brothers. Sarah realizes Denise is upset they never had a real wedding, while Marina meticulously plans her drinking schedule for a night out without the kids.

The Conners - "Promotions, Podcasts and Magic Tea" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Darlene earns a promotion at Wellman Plastics, while Ben decides on a new career path. Meanwhile, Jackie tries an herbal tea leading to an emotional revelation.

black-ish - "Our Wedding Dre" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Pops and Ruby are getting re-married! And Dre’s intimate wedding plans go awry when Pops’ brother, Uncle Norman, shows up unexpectedly for the festivities. Meanwhile, Ruby refuses Bow’s offer to help with preparations until an unanticipated situation gives her an opening to save the big day.

Miracle Workers - "Oregon Trail: Hunting Party" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
Ezekiel signs up for a buffalo hunting expedition to prove his manhood. Meanwhile, Benny teaches Prudence how to be a bandit.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 26)

Tuesday, July 27

  • Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Anthony guest hosts a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Dwayne Johnson (Young Rock) - Dwayne appears on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Jake Johnson (Hoops/New Girl) - Jake will be on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Kym Whitley (Young & Hungry/Animal Practice/Sparks) - Kym is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Megan Fox (Hope & Faith) - Megan appears on a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Ron Funches (Final Space/Powerless/Undateable) - Ron is a guest on a repeat of The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
  • Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken appears on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Laura Benanti (The Detour/Go On) - Laura talks about HBO Max's Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020, a special based on the social media movement she started giving students whose spring musicals were cancelled due to the pandemic the opportunity to perform, on a repeat of The Drew Barrymore Show, so check your local listings.
  • Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens) - Abigail talks about Stillwater on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • D.L. Hughley (The Hughleys) - D.L. talks about ABC's GMA 3: What You Need to Know at 1pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (March-July)

Fuller House - The Complete Series Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release) Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release)

03/02 - Blue Mountain State - The Complete Series
03/02 - Happy Together - The Complete Series
03/02 - Rick and Morty - The Complete Seasons 1-4 (DVD) (Blu-ray)
04/20 - 'Til Death - The Complete Series
05/11 - Dead to Me - Season Two
06/08 - The Critic - The Complete Series
06/08 - Fuller House - The Fifth and Final Season
06/08 - Fuller House - The Complete Series
06/08 - Our Cartoon President - Season 3
06/15 - The Office - Season 1 (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9
06/15 - Parks and Recreation - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/07 - No Activity - Season 2
07/13 - The Unicorn - Season 2
07/20 - Head of the Class - The Complete Third Season
07/27 - Family Ties - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release)
07/27 - Hot in Cleveland - The Complete Series (2021 Re-Release)
08/03 - I Dream of Jeannie - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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