Gameshow pioneer and TV historian Ira Skutch, who produced or directed over 10,000 episodes, died March 16 in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles of lymphoma. He was 88.
Skutch, who grew up in New York City and attended Dartmouth College, began his television career immediately after World War II. He started as a page at NBC in New York in 1942 and went on to become a stage manager for a number of early Peacock shows such as “NBC Television Theater,” “You Are an Artist” and “Kraft Television Theater.” He was a producer-writer-director for “Philco Television Playhouse.”
Later he worked as producer-director and vice president at Goodson-Todman Productions from 1957 to 1983, moving to Los Angeles and helping create many of the most popular game shows of that time. Skutch worked on such shows as “I’ve Got a Secret,” “Beat the Clock,” “Match Game,” and “Password.” He retired in 1995 and concentrated on writing or editing, his books include “The Days of Live” (a history of live television) and “Five Directors” (about five historic radio personalities), both published by Scarecrow Press in 1998.
Survivors include a daughter and a son, a brother, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.