Bill Heitz

Emmy-winning producer

Bill Heitz, a producer who won Emmys for his NBC “Sunday Night Specials,” died Aug. 29 of cancer in Chicago. He was 66.

Heitz’s television career began in 1957 at Boston University’s WGBH-TV, where he helped produce drama and classical music programs before being drafted into the Army.

While in the service, he produced documentaries ranging from wounded soldier rehabilitation to space travel.

He was hired in 1962 as an associate director at NBC in Chicago. In the mid-1960s he was promoted to producer-director at NBC and directed coverage of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where he was tear-gassed.

After producing and directing a series of Emmy-winning specials, Heitz left NBC in 1975 for WTTW-TV. He established his own video production company in the early 1980s.

Heitz is survived by his wife, a daughter and three grandchildren.

More Scene

  • Ryan Murphy Pose

    Ryan Murphy on 'Showrunning as Advocacy' and the Post-Me Too 'Age of Enlightenment'

    Bill Heitz, a producer who won Emmys for his NBC “Sunday Night Specials,” died Aug. 29 of cancer in Chicago. He was 66. Heitz’s television career began in 1957 at Boston University’s WGBH-TV, where he helped produce drama and classical music programs before being drafted into the Army. While in the service, he produced documentaries […]

  • 'The Sinner' film premiere

    Jessica Biel Closes Her Kid-Friendly Au Fudge Restaurant

    Bill Heitz, a producer who won Emmys for his NBC “Sunday Night Specials,” died Aug. 29 of cancer in Chicago. He was 66. Heitz’s television career began in 1957 at Boston University’s WGBH-TV, where he helped produce drama and classical music programs before being drafted into the Army. While in the service, he produced documentaries […]

  • Comedy Converstion with L to R:

    Just for Laughs Festival Honors Tiffany Haddish, Hannah Gadsby, More

    Bill Heitz, a producer who won Emmys for his NBC “Sunday Night Specials,” died Aug. 29 of cancer in Chicago. He was 66. Heitz’s television career began in 1957 at Boston University’s WGBH-TV, where he helped produce drama and classical music programs before being drafted into the Army. While in the service, he produced documentaries […]

  • Paul Krassner Memoir Illustration

    Paul Krassner on Resisting With Humor

    Bill Heitz, a producer who won Emmys for his NBC “Sunday Night Specials,” died Aug. 29 of cancer in Chicago. He was 66. Heitz’s television career began in 1957 at Boston University’s WGBH-TV, where he helped produce drama and classical music programs before being drafted into the Army. While in the service, he produced documentaries […]

  • Just for Laughs Festival Montreal

    Just for Laughs Festival Is the Coachella of Comedy

    Bill Heitz, a producer who won Emmys for his NBC “Sunday Night Specials,” died Aug. 29 of cancer in Chicago. He was 66. Heitz’s television career began in 1957 at Boston University’s WGBH-TV, where he helped produce drama and classical music programs before being drafted into the Army. While in the service, he produced documentaries […]

  • National Comedy Center Set To Open

    National Comedy Center Set To Open During Lucille Ball Fest

    Bill Heitz, a producer who won Emmys for his NBC “Sunday Night Specials,” died Aug. 29 of cancer in Chicago. He was 66. Heitz’s television career began in 1957 at Boston University’s WGBH-TV, where he helped produce drama and classical music programs before being drafted into the Army. While in the service, he produced documentaries […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content