TV vet worked on 'Gunsmoke,' 'Waltons'

Edward O. Denault, who was head of production at CBS and later VP of production at Lorimar Television, died Aug. 21 in Mission Viejo, Calif., of heart failure. He was 86.

Showbiz vet Denault joined Lorimar Productions at its inception and aided in launching the likes of “The Waltons,” “Eight Is Enough,” “Dallas,” “Falcon Crest” and “Knots Landing.”

Denault was a flight instructor at Santa Monica Airport who was recruited as an assistant director by thesp Brian Donleavy in 1951. He assisted on many westerns including “The Rifleman” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Soon Denault was directing Rod Serling in the intros and wrap-ups to “The Twilight Zone” as well as a few episodes.

In 1967, Denault segued to production manager and eventually VP in charge of production for CBS on the West Coast. He managed such shows as “Hawaii Five-O,” “Wild Wild West,” “Gunsmoke,” “Big Valley” and “Gilligan’s Island” before being recruited by the fledgling Lorimar, from where he retired in 1988 after nearly 40 years in showbiz.

Other credits include “Perfect Strangers,” “Dallas,”

Denault won a Directors Guild of America award for “The Dick Powell Theater” in 1963.

Survivors include a son, two grandsons and two granddaughters.

Donations may be made in his name to the Alzheimers Assn. at alz.org.

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