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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.[1]

Lee Rich
Born(1918-12-19)December 19, 1918
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
DiedMay 24, 2012(2012-05-24) (aged 93)
EducationOhio University
OccupationFilm and television producer
Known forThe Waltons and Dallas producer
Pippa Scott
(m. 1964; div. 1983)

Angela Rich
(m. 19??; ??)
AwardsEmmy Award

Among the five Emmy nominated programs Rich produced were the series Dallas and Knots Landing.


Early life and educationEdit

Rich was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 19, 1918. He earned a marketing degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.[2][3]


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.

After leaving Lorimar in 1986, Rich joined MGM/UA Communications. For two years he was the chairman and chief executive of MGM.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Rich married American actress Pippa Scott in 1964, having three children together before they divorced in 1983,[5] though they maintained a friendship until his death.[2] Later Rich had two other children with his second wife, Angela Rich.


Rich died on May 24, 2012, at the age of 93 in Los Angeles, California from lung cancer.[2][6]



■ A dream for Christmas (1973)



  1. ^ Fink, Nikki (2012-05-25). "R.I.P. Television Mogul Lee Rich". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  2. ^ a b c 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.
  3. ^ McLellan, Dennis (May 26, 2012). "Lee Rich dies at 93; advertising executive became a top TV producer". Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  4. ^ "Lee Rich, Co-Founder of Legendary Production Company Lorimar, Dies at 93". The Hollywood Reporter.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "TV mogul Lee Rich dies at 91: Exec co-founded Lorimar, headed MGM/UA 859-803-3649". Chicago Tribune. May 25, 2012.

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