Producer and post-production veteran Lee Orgel died May 12 of emphysema in Los Angeles. He was 78.
A native of New Jersey, he began his career as stage manager for MGM’s live presentations at Manhattan’s Capitol Theater.
He was a pioneer in the early days of children’s television and produced the original interactive chalk talk show “Cartoon Teletales,” as well as one of the earliest daytime game shows “Picture Please.”
He started his own production company, Jomar Productions, where he developed and produced shows including “The New Adventures of the Three Stooges” and “Abbott and Costello” cartoon series.
As producer and creative head of UPA Pictures, he produced the first animated primetime network special “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” and feature toon “Gay Pur-ee” voiced by Judy Garland.
He also wrote for television, including episodes for “Mr. Roberts,” “Batman” and “Scooby-Doo.”
For the past 15 years, he was VP of sales and adminstration at Crest National labs, concentrating on the large format telecine department.
“Lee has been an intregral part of our organization as well as the industry at large,” said Ron Stein, president of Crest National.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Leatrice; daughter Jo Ann, manager of soundtracks at Fox; son Mark and two grandchildren.