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Harry Stephen Ackerman[1] was an American TV producer, first at CBS as vice president in the 1950s, where he helped create, develop, oversee, and/or approve the casting of Gunsmoke, I Love Lucy, The Jack Benny Show, Burns and Allen, Amos 'n' Andy, Our Miss Brooks, and many other shows. Later, he was an executive producer at Screen Gems, the television division of Columbia Pictures.[2]

Harry Ackerman
Born Harry Stephen Ackerman
(1912-11-17)November 17, 1912
Albany, New York, U.S.
Died February 3, 1991(1991-02-03) (aged 78)
Burbank, California, U.S.
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Court of Liberty,
Gardens of Heritage,
L-3039 G-1
Spouse(s) Mary Shipp (1939-195?; divorce) Elinor Donahue (1962–91; his death)

From 1958 through 1974, under the command of Ackerman as Vice President of Production, Screen Gems delivered the classic sitcoms: Father Knows Best, Bachelor Father, Leave It to Beaver, Dennis the Menace, The Donna Reed Show, Hazel, Grindl, Gidget, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Flying Nun, The Monkees, and The Partridge Family.[3]

In the late 1940s, before coming to Hollywood, he was involved in the beginnings of the widely heralded Suspense and Westinghouse Studio One dramatic radio anthologies.



Ackerman won two Emmy Awards for his work, and was the first producer ever honored by the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters at their 1974 luncheon.

For his work on television, Ackerman has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6661 Hollywood Blvd.


The Harry Ackerman Collection of personal papers was donated to the Dartmouth College Library in 1994 as a gift from Ackerman's widow, actress Elinor Donahue. Harry Ackerman, a Class of 1935 graduate, was one of the most prolific producers in the history of television, having created or co-created and produced a total of twenty-one television series, seven of which were on the air simultaneously.


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