TV writer Ron Sproat dies at 77

Scribe wrote for serial 'Dark Shadows'

Ron Sproat, who wrote hundreds of episodes of serial “Dark Shadows” in the 1960s, died of a heart attack in his Manhattan apartment on Nov. 6. He was 77.

Sproat wrote for “Dark Shadows” starting at the series’ creation in 1966, continuing for three years as the creator of characters including vampire Barnabas Collins.

Sproat graduated from Hamilton College, the U. of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama.

After college, he began his career in TV, writing for the anthology series “United States Steel Hour” and “General Motors Presents.” He later worked on TV shows such as “Love of Life,” “The Secret Storm,” “The Doctors,” “Where the Heart Is” and “Strange Paradise.”

Under his mentor, Charles L. Jackson, Sproat wrote his first plays for TV “Rachel’s Summer” and “The Great Gold Mountain,” which were both based on Jackson’s books.

Sproat later joined the BMI Musical Theater Workshop and wrote librettos for the musicals “Back Home,” “Abie’s Island Rose” and “Ravenswood.” His works were performed at the Paper Mill Playhouse, The New Hope Peforming Arts Festival, The Spirit of Broadway Theatre, The York Theatre and Musical Mondays Theatre Lab.

He also contributed articles to New York magazine and Paris Match.

Sproat is survived by his partner, Frank Evans, and a sister.

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