Veteran gaffer Marks dies at 71

He ran the set lighting department at CBS Studio Center

Dennis Marks, a longtime gaffer and set lighting department head at CBS Studio Center, died of a brain tumor Feb. 24 in Tehachapi, Calif. He was 71.

A memorial service is scheduled at 4 p.m. Sunday at the First Baptist Church of Sylmar, 13261 Glenoaks Blvd., Sylmar.

Marks, known affectionately as “Grumpy,” ended his 46-year career at the same place where it began in 1957, when CBS was known as Republic Studios. He was largely responsible for revamping the way production vans were organized at CBS, which led to industrywide changes for production vehicles.

He was born in Los Angeles; his mother was an Olympic swimmer and his father, also a gaffer for CBS.

He served as gaffer for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and TV shows including “Wonder Woman,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “Leave It to Beaver,” “My Three Sons,” miniseries “How the West Was Won” and children’s shows for Sid and Marty Kroft.

He was particularly fond of working on Westerns including “Gunsmoke” and “Wild, Wild West.” His other credits include “The Smothers Brothers Show,” “Wagon Train,” “Dragnet,” “Family Affair,” “Big Valley,” “Get Smart” and “The Doris Day Show.”

He is survived by his wife, Karen; a daughter; a son; three stepsons and eight grandchildren.

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