Bruce Toms, Reality TV Producer, Dies at 55

Bruce Toms Dead
Courtesy of WME

Bruce Toms, the Emmy-nominated producer of such shows as “Road Rules” and “Celebrity Wife Swap,” died Dec. 25 in Pasadena, Calif. He was 55.

WME reported that he died of natural causes.

Toms was currently on Bravo reality series “Timber Creek Lodge” as executive producer. He was also executive producer on shows including “Secret Millionaire,” “Wife Swap,” “The Judds,” “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” “Nanny 911,” “Paradise Hotel” and “Workout.”

His Emmy nomination came in 2001 for the MTV series “Road Rules” alongside Mary-Ellis Bunim, Jonathan Murray and Rick Telles.

Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., Toms grew up in Coleraine, Minn. and attended the U. of Minnesota Duluth before moving to New York to pursue acting. He starred in the national touring production of “Torch Song Trilogy” and appeared in several television roles.

He joined entertainment industry non-profit Young Artists United in 1985, then began producing and directing when he joined Evolution Media. With Evolution’s Douglas Ross, he produced anti-nuke documentary “Change the World.”

Ross said, “Bruce Toms was a visionary whose creativity was only matched by his compassion and activism to make the world a better place.”

He left Evolution in 1996 and directed productions for Fox, MTV, Bravo and OWN.

Bunim/Murray Productions’ founder Murray remembered that as producer on “Road Rules” and “Love Cruise,” “His talent was enormous. But what made him truly special, was his kind and loving soul.”

His longtime rep, former WME partner Mark Itkin, remembered him as “a lovely, kind and loyal gentleman with a great sense of humor. As a producer he was an excellent storyteller and respected leader.”

Young Artists United co-founder Daniel Sladek said, “From the moment Bruce arrived in our lives, he infused YAU board meetings with wisdom, passion and integrity. We were all in our early twenties and just beginning our careers, and his ability to transform ideas into action was matched by his electrifying charm.”

Toms is survived by his mother Carol; siblings Blake and Lisa, Brian and Cindy, and Julie and Mark; and two nieces.

Memorial services are planned for ‪Saturday, Dec. 31 at 11:00 at Bethel-Trinity Lutheran Church, ‪116 5th Ave, Bovey, Minn. with a luncheon following the service. An additional Life Celebration will be held in the Los Angeles area at a later date.

Donations may be made to Second Harvest North Central Food BankStar of the North Humane Society
 or Alliance for Housing and Healing (HIV/AIDS).

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  1. Kara E Nyberg says:

    His place of birth is wrong. Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

  2. Great blog here!Also your site loads up very fast!
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  3. John says:

    Correction: Bruce was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, not Michigan.

  4. Smitty says:

    I never met the man in person, only knew him through email. From the emails we sent back and forth (he was helping me find a job), all I can say was that he was a class act – a real “Minnesotan”. He was an EP that I fully expected to meet and work with one day. I was absolutely gobsmacked when I read this headline. So very sad. RIP Mr. Toms. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family…

  5. Fred says:

    It’s just a shame he couldn’t have taken a few dozen more ‘reality tv producers’ with him.

    • Starbrite says:

      Wow what an incredibly trashy comment to make that has nothing to do with this mans life. Shame on you. .

    • Grayson says:

      A real nice thing to say not only about a wonderful producer to work with but also an industry of incredibly talented individuals that produce content enjoyed by hundred of millions of people. It must be nice sitting in your ivory tower shitting on a profession, especially in an obituary. Class act.

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