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Sherwood Schwartz

TV Producer / Writer

Born: 14 November 1916
Died: 12 July 2011 (Natural causes)
Birthplace: Passaic, New Jersey
Best known as:

The creator of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch

Sherwood Schwartz is the man responsible for two iconically goofy TV shows of the 1960s and '70s: Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch. He created both shows and also wrote the now-famous theme songs for each. Born during World War I, Sherwood Schwartz got a bachelor's degree at New York University, moved to Los Angeles, and then got into comedy writing through his older brother Al, who worked for Bob Hope. Sherwood wrote jokes for Hope's radio show for four years, then wrote for Armed Forces Radio during World War II. After the war he wrote for radio shows like Ozzie and Harriet and TV shows like I Married Joan, then spent nearly eight years (1954-62) as the head writer for The Red Skelton Show, winning an Emmy Award in 1961. In 1964, Sherwood Schwartz created Gilligan's Island, a comedy about a nincompoop sailor (Gilligan, played by Bob Denver) trapped with six other people on a desert island. The utter silliness of the show made it a modest hit; it ran for 99 episodes between 1964 and 1967, then became a favorite of nearly everyone during decades of reruns. Two years after Gilligan ended, Schwartz created The Brady Bunch, the story of "a man named Brady" with three feisty brown-haired boys who marries "a lovely lady" with three feisty blonde girls. Again it was a modest hit, running for 117 episodes between 1969 and 1974, and again the show became a beloved public favorite in reruns. Schwartz created and wrote other series, including the spacemen-and-cavemen comedy It's About Time (1966-67) and another Bob Denver vehicle, the western Dusty's Trail (1973-74), but his fame rests on his two iconic sitcoms. In 2008 he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and he died in 2011 at the age of 94.

Extra credit:

Sherwood Schwartz married his wife, Mildred, in 1942; they remained married until his death 69 years later. They had four children: sons Lloyd, Donald, and Ross and a daughter, Hope Juber. Ross Schwartz co-wrote the 2008 movie Bottle Shock, and Lloyd Schwartz and Hope Juber have both written for TV.

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More on Sherwood Schwartz from Infoplease:

  • Sherwood Schwartz - Biography of Sherwood Schwartz, The creator of Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch
  • 1960–1961 Emmy Awards - 1960–1961 Emmy Awards Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Drama Hallmark Hall of ...
  • Bob Denver - Biography of Bob Denver, Gilligan on TV's Gilligan's Island
  • Gilligan - Biography of Gilligan, The dim-witted titular star of Gilligan's Island
  • People Who Died in 2011 - Selected biographies of well-known Actors
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