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Gene Levitt

Gene Levitt, writer, producer and director who created the original “Fantasy Island” TV series, died Nov. 15 of prostate cancer in Los Angeles. He was 79.

Levitt first worked as a writer for the Raymond Chandler radio show “Philip Marlowe” after serving in the Marines during WWII.

He went on to write, direct and produce a long list of TV series and movies. Writing credits include the pilots of “Bat Masterson” and “Tombstone Territory.” He also contributed to episodes of “Maverick,” “The Loretta Young Show” and “Sea Hunt.”

Levitt directed the pilots of “Alias Smith and Jones” and “Cool Million,” and the TV movie “Run a Crooked Mile” (1969), with Mary Tyler Moore.

As a producer, he worked on “Combat!,” “Hawaii Five-O” and the 1969 TV movie “Any Second Now.”

Levitt was a member of the Writers Guild and Directors Guild.

He is survived by his wife, a daughter, three sons and seven grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Writers Guild Theater, 135 South Doheny Dr. in Beverly Hills.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Cedars Sinai Hospice Program, 444 South San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.

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