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Rex Lardner

Rex Lardner, who received an Emmy nomination for his work as head writer on “The Ernie Kovacs Show” in the 1950s, died July 27 from heart trouble in Great Neck, N.Y. He was 80.

He was part of a celebrated literary family that included his namesake father, who was an editor of the New York Times and Cosmopolitan, and his uncle Ring Lardner, the humorist, short-story writer and playwright.

He was a World War II vet who specialized in the interception of Japanese radio traffic and also saw action in Okinawa and Korea.

Following the war, Lardner was a reporter for The New Yorker and freelanced for a number of other magazines. He soon moved on to the position of head writer on “The Ernie Kovacs Show” and ended up following Kovacs to Hollywood in 1959 to serve as chief writer on his TV show, “Take a Good Look.”

He went on to write a number of books, including a biography of Muhammad Ali and his most famous book, “Out of the Bunker and Into the Trees,” a parody of golf and golfers.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Martha Deeney Lardner, as well as two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.

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