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Lee Rich (December 19, 1918 – May 24, 2012) was an American film and television producer, who won the 1973 Outstanding Drama Series Emmy award for The Waltons as the producer. He is also known as the co-founder and former chairman of Lorimar Television.
|Born||December 19, 1918|
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
|Died||May 24, 2012 (aged 93)|
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Occupation||Film and television producer|
|Known for||The Waltons and Dallas producer|
(m. 1964; div. 1983)
(m. 19??; ??)
Early life and educationEdit
Rich began his career in advertising and ultimately became an industry executive.
He served in the Navy as a lieutenant in World War II, and then returned to advertising in New York, where he rose to senior vice president and a member of the board of Benton & Bowles .
As the ad agency middleman between product company sponsors and television producers, he was involved with The Andy Griffith Show, Make Room for Daddy, The Edge of Night, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Rich left Benton & Bowles in 1965 to partner with the Mirisch Co. and form Mirisch-Rich Productions. There he produced The Rat Patrol.
In 1969, he, Merv Adelson, and Irwin Molasky formed Lorimar Productions. Its first production was The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971), a television film which led to Lorimar producing the series it inspired, The Waltons, featuring the same characters. The series ran on CBS from 1972 to 1981. Rich also co-produced the short-lived 1977 CBS espionage drama Hunter. Lorimar's biggest hit was the primetime soap Dallas, which ran from 1978-91. In regards to the famous Dallas storyline “Who shot J.R.?” in which Larry Hagman’s character is fired upon in the 1979-80 season finale in March and the assailant is not revealed until the following November, only Rich and writer-director Leonard Katzman knew which of three previously shot endings would be used.
Rich married American actress Pippa Scott in 1964, having three children together before they divorced in 1983, though they maintained a friendship until his death. Later Rich had two other children with his second wife, Angela Rich.
- The Man (1972)
- The Choirboys (1977)
- Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978)
- Hard to Kill (1990)
- Passenger 57 (1992)
- Innocent Blood (1992)
- Just Cause (1995)
- Desperate Measures (1998)
- Gloria (1999)
- The Score (2001)
■ A dream for Christmas (1973)
- The Rat Patrol (1967) (TV series)
- The Waltons (1971) (TV series)
- Apple's Way (1974) (TV series)
- Bad Ronald (1974) (TV movie)
- The Blue Knight (1975) (TV series)
- Sybil (1976) (TV movie)
- Helter Skelter (1976) (TV movie)
- Hunter (1977) (TV series)
- Eight is Enough (1977) (TV series)
- Dallas (1978) (TV series)
- Flamingo Road (1980) (TV series)
- Fink, Nikki (2012-05-25). "R.I.P. Television Mogul Lee Rich". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
- Vitello, Paul (May 30, 2012). "Lee Rich Dies at 93; Helped Create Both J.R. and John-Boy". New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
- McLellan, Dennis (May 26, 2012). "Lee Rich dies at 93; advertising executive became a top TV producer". Retrieved September 11, 2015.
- "Lee Rich, Co-Founder of Legendary Production Company Lorimar, Dies at 93". The Hollywood Reporter.
- http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118054663?refCatId=14 variety.com
- "TV mogul Lee Rich dies at 91: Exec co-founded Lorimar, headed MGM/UA 859-803-3649". Chicago Tribune. May 25, 2012.