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Ira Skutch (September 12, 1921 – March 16, 2010) was an American television director, producer, and, in his later years, an author. In the early days of television he produced and directed episodes of Kraft Television Theatre and The Philco Television Playhouse. Skutch also worked as an executive for Goodson-Todman Productions and produced or directed the game shows Play Your Hunch, I've Got a Secret, Match Game, Concentration and many others.[1]

Ira Skutch
Ira Skutch Jr.

(1921-09-12)September 12, 1921
DiedMarch 16, 2010(2010-03-16) (aged 88)
Alma materDartmouth College
OccupationDirector, producer
Years active1942–2008


Early life and educationEdit

Ira Skutch Jr. was born on September 12, 1921 in New York City, New York. Skutch was the oldest of three children born to parents Ira (1888–1945) and Ethel Skutch. He attended Dartmouth College where he graduated in 1941.[2] Skutch had a younger brother, Robert Skutch, who also graduated from Dartmouth in 1946,[2] and a younger sister Nancy.[3]


Start in televisionEdit

Skutch started as a page in New York for the National Broadcasting Company. After a few years at NBC, Skutch became the stage manager on some of NBC's and network television's first regularly scheduled programs beginning with Hour Glass in 1946.[4] Hour Glass was the first regularly scheduled variety series shown on network television.[5]

After the end of Hour Glass in 1947, Skutch went on to become the stage manager of The Philco Television Playhouse. Skutch also worked as stage manager for the NBC shows NBC Television Theater, You Are an Artist and Kraft Television Theatre. Skutch also directed, produced and wrote several episodes of The Philco Television Playhouse.[6]

Goodson-Todman ProductionsEdit

In 1957, producer Mark Goodson hired Skutch to be on staff for Goodson-Todman Productions. One of Skutch's earliest work for Mark Goodson and Bill Todman was as a producer on the game show I've Got a Secret. Skutch also was one of several directors on the original NBC version of Match Game from 1962-1969 and became most notably the producer and judge of the more memorable CBS version of Match Game from 1973-1979, (including Match Game PM, 1975-1981) and resumed these same positions its daytime syndicated reincarnation from 1979-1982.

While at Goodson-Todman, Skutch also worked on the set of the game shows Beat the Clock, What's My Line?, Password, Concentration, Tattletales and Blockbusters.[7]

Skutch left Goodson-Todman in 1983, shortly after Mark Goodson formed his own production company, Mark Goodson Productions, after the death of his partner Bill Todman.

Personal life and deathEdit

In his later years, Skutch was the author and co-author of several books published between 1990 and 2008 including I Remember Television, The Days of Live and The DuMont Television Network: What Happened? (co-written with Ted Bergmann).

Skutch died on March 16, 2010 after a several year battle with lymphoma at the age of 88. Skutch died at the home of his daughter Lindsay in the neighborhood of Silver Lake, California. Along with his daughter Lindsay, Skutch also was survived by a son Rick, four grandchildren, one great-grandchild and his brother Robert.[2][6]



Year Title Notes
1950 Beat the Clock Game show
1951 The Philco Television Playhouse 1 episode
1957 I've Got a Secret Game show
Two for the Money 1 episode
1971-1975 Password ABC version
1973-1978 Concentration Syndicated version
1962-1964 What's My Line? 2 episodes
1963-1969 Match Game 974 episodes
1969-1970 He Said, She Said All 265 episodes
1970 Beat the Clock 1 episode
1979 Mindreaders 1 episode
1981 Blockbusters 1 episode
1982 Child's Play All 258 episodes

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result
1976 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show Match Game Nominated
1977 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show Tattletales Nominated
Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show Match Game Nominated


  • Ira Skutch and Delbert Mann (1990). I Remember Television. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-2271-9.
  • Joseph C. Youngerman, David Shepard and Ira Skutch (1996). My Seventy Years at Paramount Studios and the Directors Guild of America (First Edition). Hardcover. ISBN 978-1-8827-6602-4.
  • Ira Skutch (1998). Five Directors: The Golden Years of Radio : Based on Interviews with Himan Brown, Axel Gruenberg, Fletcher Markle, Arch Oboler, Robert Lewis Shayon. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-3483-5.
  • Ira Skutch (editor) and Delbert Mann (1998). Looking Back . . . At Live Television & Other Matters. Directors Guild of America. ISBN 978-1-8827-6606-2.
  • Ira Skutch (1998). The Days of Live. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-3492-7.
  • Ira Skutch (1999). Making It. Malvern Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-9479-9384-9.
  • Ira Skutch and Joe Harnell (2001). Counterpoint: The Journey of a Music Man. Xlibris Corporation. ISBN 978-0-7388-4989-8.[self-published source]
  • Ted Bergmann and Ira Skutch (2002). The DuMont Television Network: What Happened?. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4270-X.
  • Richard Edward Wormser, Ira Skutch (Editor) (2006). How to Become a Complete Nonentity: A Memoir. iUniverse. ISBN 978-0-5953-8467-9.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)[self-published source]


External linksEdit