William M. Cowley III

Writer-producer William M. Cowley III, who wrote for such popular TV shows as “Dennis the Menace” and “The Bob Cummings Show,” died of an aneurysm Aug. 2 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. He was 78.

Partnered with Peggy Chanteler-Dick, he wrote for episodes of “The Bob Cummings Show,” “The Donna Reed Show,” “My Favorite Husband” and the sitcom “December Bride.”

He was also an instrumental writer for the animated series premiere of “Dennis the Menace,” and the creator of the “Hazel” series.

Cowley also contributed to “Leave It to Beaver,” “The Eve Arden Show,” “The Brady Bunch” and an episode of “The Danny Thomas Show” that won a Cannes Film Festival Award as best TV comedy of 1958.

A native of Seattle, Wash., Cowley served in World War II as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1942-45, earning a Bronze Star. Soon after, he won a writing contest that sent him to Hollywood.

He is survived by his two sisters.

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