Digby Wolfe, ‘Laugh-In’ creator, dies

London-born comedy writer, actor won Emmy

Digby Wolfe, a London-born writer and actor who was a creator of and Emmy winner for seminal TV series “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” died Thursday, May 3, in Albuquerque, N.M., after a brief battle with cancer. He was 82.

Wolfe appeared in “The Munsters,” “That Girl,” “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Monkees” and did uncredited voicework on Disney’s 1967 animated feature “The Jungle Book.”

In addition to his two Emmy nominations and one win for “Laugh-In,” Wolfe was also nominated as part of the writing team for variety series “Cher” in 1975 and for penning with George Schlatter the special “John Denver and Friend” in 1977. He also wrote specials for Goldie Hawn and Shirley MacLaine and received a story credit on the 2001 war comedy “All the Queen’s Men,” starring Matt LeBlanc and Eddie Izzard.

Wolfe began in showbiz in England, appearing in small roles in features starting with “The Weaker Sex” in 1948 and eventually writing for and performing on British TV in the 1950s. In 1959 he moved to Australia, where he appeared on television, including several hosting gigs.

Later Wolfe taught screenwriting at USC and subsequently became chair of the Robert Hartung Dramatic Writing Program in the Theatre and Dance Dept. at the U. of New Mexico.

Wolfe is survived by his wife, Patricia Mannion, and a sister.

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