Hugh Benson

Television executive and producer Hugh Benson died of cancer Oct. 28 in Reseda. He was 82.

Born and reared in New York City, Benson served in the Army during WWII. Following Benson’s return to Manhattan, he joined public relations firm Blaine-Thompson, where he worked as a publicist until 1954.

Accepting an invitation from Jack Warner to join Warner Bros. as head of its publicity department, he and his family relocated to Los Angeles in 1955.

The following year, William T. Orr, executive producer of all Warner Bros. TV product, invited Benson to become his executive assistant in charge of television. They ran the TV side of Warner Bros. for about 15 years.

Following his departure from Warner Bros., he held a variety of executive posts with Screen Gems Television, MGM Television and Columbia Television before embarking on a new career as a TV producer. Credits included “The Blue and the Gray,” “Message From Nam,” “Changes,” “Fine Things” and “Diana: the True Story.” He also served as an executive on the TV series “Hart to Hart” and “In the Heat of the Night.”

The last TV movie he produced was “Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story” in 1995.

Benson was well liked for his irrepressible charm and humor and love of work and passion for life.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Diane, daughter Gail and son Jeffrey, who is a partner in the Beverly Hills literary agency Major Clients Agency.

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