Raymond Katz, an Emmy award-winning TV, theatrical and Broadway producer, died March 23 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center following a brief illness. He was 83.
Katz is perhaps best remembered for the management and production business he and his partner Sandy Gallin ran for 15 years. Between 1970 and 1985 they created and produced “Donny and Marie” TV series in addition to other series and numerous specials, including specs featuring Mac Davis, Paul Lynde, Dolly Parton, Cher and the Emmy winning special “Sold Out,” which starred Lily Tomlin and the late Kate Smith.
In the early 1980s, they turned to TV films, which included “The Miracle Worker,” “Diary of Anne Frank,” “Choices of the Heart,” “Family Secrets,” “Splendor in the Grass” and “Without Her Consent.”
They also produced “Mussolini: The Untold Story” for NBC and “Stagecoach” for CBS.
Born and reared in New York, Katz began his career as a stage manager at the (then famous) Capital Theatre on Broadway. Following World War II service, where he directed the NBC radio show “Navy Hour,” he returned to MGM’s New York radio station WHN, where he served as program director.
He subsequently helped create a radio syndication division for original programming known as MGM Radio Attractions, which boasted such weekly series as “Maisie” starring Ann Sothern and “Woman of the Year” headlining Bette Davis.
In 1960, he resigned as co-director of the radio station to devote his full time to the personal management business.
In 1988, Katz produced the feature “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” for United Artists and the following year produced “The Debbie Allen Special.”
He also produced several Broadway shows including “After the Miracle” and “Boys of Winter.”
In 1991, Katz joined with Herman Rush in establishing Katz-Rush Entertainment, which produced 13 episodes of “The New Original Amateur Hour” for the Family Channel. They also produced a pilot for NBC starring Gerry Spence titled “Injustice For All” and “Miss America: Behind the Crown.”
Katz is survived by his wife, Barbara.
Services will be conducted at 3 p.m. today at Hillside Memorial Park.