Sol Saks, creator of the 1960s sitcom “Bewitched,” died Saturday of respiratory failure resulting from pneumonia. He was 100.
Saks, a television writer and playwright, penned the script to the pilot about a witch married to mortal but never wrote another episode. He was content to reap the royalties on the ABC series, which ran from 1964-72 and subsequently in enduring syndication.
Saks drew inspiration in creating the series from the 1942 film “I Married a Witch” and the 1958 pic “Bell, Book and Candle,” both about relationships between ordinary men and women whose appeal was only enhanced by their ability to do magic.
The scribe started working in radio in the 1930s in Chicago and continued after a 1943 move to Los Angeles. He wrote for shows including “Duffy’s Tavern,” “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” “The Baby Snooks Show” and “The Beulah Show.” He shifted into TV in the early ’50s with the CBS sitcom “My Favorite Husband,” based on the radio series. Saks also developed the laffer “Mr. Adams and Eve” and wrote for series including “Alcoa Theatre” and “Summer Playhouse.”
During the 1960s Saks served a stint at CBS as the executive in charge of comedy series, and he also penned Cary Grant’s last film, the 1966 comedy “Walk, Don’t Run.” The pair became friends during lensing.
Saks was also a longtime member of Hollywood nonprofit arts org Theatre West, for which he penned a number of plays, including “A Dream of Butterflies.”
Born in New York City, Saks moved with his family to Chicago when he was 2. While a student at Northwestern U.’s Medill School of Journalism, he became a reporter for a local weekly newspaper and sold short stories before moving into radio.
His book “The Craft of Comedy Writing” was published in 1985.
In addition to second wife Sandra he is survived a daughter and a son; two granddaughters; and two great-grandsons.