Eliot Wald, former writer-producer for “Saturday Night Live” and other programs who with writing partner Andrew Kurtzman penned several produced films including “Down Periscope,” “Camp Nowhere” and “See No Evil, Hear No Evil,” died Saturday July 12 of cancer in a Tarzana, Calif., hospital. The L.A. resident was 57.
He is credited with bringing together Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel for the successful “Siskel & Ebert at the Movies” film review TV show after working on several Chi papers, where he got to know them. He even supplied some of the initial set props for the first “S&E” efforts.
His entree to TV was as a co-producer and creator of public TV’s celebrated “Soundstage” series.
He additionally wrote “Hot Paint” for TV and was ex-producer of the Kelsey Grammer-starring “Camp Nowhere.”
Bronx native and graduate of the Bronx School of Science went on to earn a degree in clinical psychology at Hofstra and did additional graduate work when the political activism of the 1960s landed him in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention.
He put down roots in Chitown, helping found the Chicago Seed paper and moving on to become a music and film critic at the Sun-Times and critic at large for the Chi Daily News. It was from his newspaper perch that he flew to public TV and then on to more commercial endeavors. His gig with “SNL” coincided with the Billy Crystal/Eddie Murphy era of the long-running NBC skein.
He started dating his future wife, high-profile trademark and copyright lawyer Jane Shay Wald, when the two Chitown neighbors coincidentally ended up attending the same movie premiere in Hollywood.
Besides his wife of 22 years (who is a partner in Irell & Manella law firm and is president-elect of the L.A. Copyright Society), the former board member of the WGA East is survived by a brother.
Memorial services are pending.