Director, producer worked at MTV, Disney

Director and producer Kevin Gill, a key figure in the early days of MTV, died on May 2 in Venice, Calif. He was 54.

His television career began at the nascent cable network in early 1983, where he directed the original VJs and their rock star guests in the MTV studio. (MTV had launched in August 1981.) He went on to direct and produce a range of programs including soaps “General Hospital,” “Loving” and “All My Children” and the teen-hosted Disney Channel show “The Movie Surfers.”

Gill became a programming executive at the Walt Disney Co. in 1991. There he helped launch “Disney Clubs” throughout Australia, Asia and South America. He formed KG Prods. two years later and then Element Media, which specialized in creating electronic media, marketing and promotional materials for TV and film properties.

Gill was a native of Seattle and worked in retail there for a number of years before finally finding his way to MTV in New York, spending five years at the cable network as a stage manager, assistant director and later a director and producer. During this period he also studied directing at NYU and animation at Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts.

He is survived by his mother, a sister and two brothers.

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