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Just Sit Right Back and You’ll Hear a Tale

 

Sherwood Schwartz

Today Sherwood Schwartz, Producer/writer passed away at his home in Los Angeles.   For those of you who don’t know who this man was he was the creator of such successful Situation Comedies as “My Favorite Martian” (1963) starring Ray Walston and Bill Bixby; the infamous “Gilligan’s Island” (1964-1967) starring Bob Denver and Alan Hale Jr. and the equally famous “The Brady Bunch” (1969-1974) starring Robert Reed, Florence Henderson and Ann B. Davis.

From an article in the NY Times, “Sherwood Charles Schwartz was born in Passaic, N.J., on Nov. 4, 1916. He grew up in Brooklyn and was a premed student at New York University. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he moved to Los Angeles to attend graduate school at the University of Southern California, but the master’s he earned in biological sciences was never put to use.

In 1938, while waiting for acceptance to medical school, he asked his brother Albert, who worked on Bob Hope’s radio show, if he could try writing a few jokes. Soon there were two Schwartzes on Hope’s payroll.

After World War II, during which Sherwood Schwartz wrote for Armed Forces Radio, he became a writer for “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” which was then on the radio. He made the transition to television in the 1950s with the sitcom “I Married Joan” and “The Red Skelton Show,” for which he became head writer. In 1961 he shared an Emmy Award with his brother, Skelton and two other writers for the show.”

My Favorite Martian/Gilligan's Island/The Brady Bunch

David Marc and Robert J. Thompson, authors of “Prime Time, Prime Movers,” said of “Gilligan’s Island” “Schwartz was pioneering a dramatic matrix built upon the emerging cultural concept of the ‘support group’: a collection of demographically diverse characters thrown together by circumstance and forced to become an ersatz ‘family’ in order to survive.”

Despite the fact that all three shows were panned by the critics the viewing audience loved them and the rest is history.  “My Favorite Martian” spawned a 1999 feature movie starring Christopher Lloyd as “Martin”, Jeff Daniels as “Tim O’Hara and reprising his original TV role Ray Walston.

Even though “Gilligan’s Island” lasted only 4 seasons the castaways went on to legend status in reruns and in the 3 TV Movies and two animated series it spawned.  Not to mention the famous theme song.

“The Brady Bunch” suffering a similar panning by the critics but went on to run for 5 seasons before branching out to produce seven spin offs and made for TV movies.

Russell Johnson

 

Of Sherwood Schwartz, Russell Johnson, The Professor on “Gilligan’s Island”, told TMZ  “I’m sorry he is gone.  He was a wonderful dear man.  I loved Sherwood.  Great loss to not only me but everyone he is associated with.  I loved him.”

 

 

Tina Louise

 

Tina Louise, “Ginger”, “Sherwood Schwartz brought laughter and comfort to millions of people.  Gilligan’s Island was a family.  He will be in our hearts forever.”

 

 

 

Florence Henderson

 

 

Florence Henderson, “Carol” of “The Brady Bunch” spoke of him to TMZ, “Sherwood had a wonderful family who loved and respected him.  I know his BB (Brady Bunch) family feels the same way.  He will be greatly missed.”

 

 

Sherwood Schwartz is survived by his wife of 69 years, Mildred Schwartz, and sons Lloyd, Don and Ross Schwartz, and daughter Hope Juber.

Sherwood Schwartz died of natural causes, he was 94.

 

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