Douglas Rask, producer of television specials and children’s programming, died of a heart attack on Jan. 9 in Los Angeles. He was 38.
A native of Minneapolis, Rask earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music. In 1990, Rask relocated to Los Angeles and began focusing on television, working briefly as an actor. He soon moved behind the cameras, assisting producers on television movies and miniseries including NBC’s “Switched at Birth” and PBS’ American Playhouse presentation “Darrow.”
During the next several years, Rask worked on specials for networks including ABC, CBS and Fox. He was involved with live shows including the Academy Awards, the AFI salute to Elizabeth Taylor and the Kennedy Center Honors.
In 1995, he formed Craftsman Prods. with Malcolm Bird. The company produced “The Top Cat Interviews” for Hanna-Barbera Intl., which made the first use of a technique known as performance animation to juxtapose animated and live actors in real time.
Rask continued working on children’s programming, producing 26 episodes of “Jay Jay, the Jet Plane” for the Discovery Channel in 1998 as well as contributing to ABC’s “One Saturday Morning.”
More recently, his company has been developing “It’s My Life,” a half-hour teen talkshow, on which Rask served as host, co-creator and executive producer.
He is survived by his mother, his brother and two sisters.
Memorial services will be held March 4 at 1 p.m. at Marymount High School, 10643 Sunset Blvd. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity.