Larry Markes, longtime film and TV writer whose comedy material for celebs ranged from Dean Mar-tin to Jack Paar, died May 19 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center following complications from a fall he suffered at his home in March. He was 77.
A graduate of the U. of Miami, Markes joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. For service as a fighter-bomber pilot over Europe, he was awarded an Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and two Presidential Citations.
Following his discharge in 1945, Markes joined NBC as a page and jump-started his career by submitting jokes to the network’s comedy greats, including Bob Hope and Fred Allen. He later joined their writing staffs and subsequently wrote material for Alan King, Steve Allen, Ernie Kovacs, Johnny Carson, Jackie Gleason and Dave Garroway, and spent three years writing for Paar’s show.
Markes also wrote songs with Dick Charles, including “Mad About Him, Sad About Him, How Can I Be Glad Without Him Blues,” “Along the Navajo Trail” (sung by Bing Crosby) and “May You Always” (sung by the McGuire Sisters).
Markes relocated to Hollywood in 1960 and began penning scripts for features including “Wild and Wonderful” with Tony Curtis and “For Love or Money” starring Kirk Douglas. TV credits included “McHale’s Navy,” “The Flintstones,” “My Three Sons,” “Bonanza,” “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Love American Style.”
During the mid-1960s, Markes wrote political humor as a speechwriter for then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan. He also was a longtime member of the Writers Guild of America and ASCAP.
Markes is survived by three sons, two daughters and three grandchildren.