Ethel Winant

Ethel Wald Winant (August 5, 1922 – November 29, 2003) was the first woman executive in television when she became the vice-president of CBS in 1973. Winant was also a casting director for various shows including The Twilight Zone and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1999.

Ethel Winant
Vice President of CBS
In office
Personal details
Born(1922-08-05)August 5, 1922
Worcester, Massachusetts
DiedNovember 29, 2003(2003-11-29) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California
AwardsTelevision Hall of Fame (1999)

Early life and educationEdit

Winant was born on August 5, 1922 in Worcester, Massachusetts.[1] During her childhood, Winant grew up in Marysville, California.[2] She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor's degree and Whittier College with a Master's degree in Theatre.[3]


While in school, Winant worked behind the scenes in the Pasadena Playhouse. After graduation, she became a theatre producer in Los Angeles while working for the Lockheed Corporation during the Second World War.[4] At the end of the 1940s, Winant became an assistant to the producer for Broadway plays including A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman.[5]

She began working in television during the 1950s as a casting director for Studio One and Playhouse 90. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Winant cast various CBS shows including The Twilight Zone, Hawaii Five-O, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.[4] She was promoted to vice-president of CBS in 1973 and became the first woman to hold an executive role in television.[4] After working at Children's Television Workshop in the late 1970s as a producer, Winant moved to NBC to become a vice president of TV movies and miniseries.[6] During the 1980s and 1990s, she was the producer of multiple programs including A Time to Triumph, World War II: When Lions Roared, and George Wallace.[3]


Winant died in Los Angeles on November 29, 2003.[1]

Awards and honorsEdit

During the 1990s, Winant was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie on three separate occasions.[7] In 1999, Winant was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Winant was divorced with three children.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Lavietes, Stuart (14 December 2003). "Ethel Winant, 81, Pioneering Woman In TV Production". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  2. ^ Rense, Rip (29 November 2017). "Ethel Winant: Hall of Fame Tribute". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b Newcomb, Horace, ed. (2013). "Ethel Winnant". Museum of Broadcast Communication Encyclopedia of Television. 4 (Second ed.). London and New York: Routledge. p. 2554. ISBN 1579584136.
  4. ^ a b c Saperstein, Pat (3 December 2003). "Ethel Winant". Variety. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  5. ^ King, Susan (3 December 2003). "Ethel Winant, 81; First Woman to Become Network Executive". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  6. ^ Lentz III, Harris M. (2004). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2003. McFarland. p. 430. ISBN 0786417560. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Ethel Winant". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  8. ^ King, Susan (11 March 1999). "She Set the Course for Those Who Followed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 April 2018.