This article was revised on May. 22, 2002.
Comedy writer Mel Diamond died at his Los Angeles home May 5 from complications related to cancer. He was 81.
Diamond’s career began in New York radio on such shows as “Duffy’s Tavern” and “The Kate Smith Show” before moving to TV and “The Texaco Star Theatre,” “The Tonight Show,” “The Saturday Night Revue” and “The Jackie Gleason Show.”
Diamond moved to the West Coast in 1953 to join “The Bob Hope Show.” Over the next 17 years, he also worked for Red Skelton, Milton Berle, Lucille Ball, Bob Cummings, Mickey Rooney, Steve Lawrence, Dean Martin, Andy Williams, Johnny Carson, Danny Thomas and Donald O’Connor.
Diamond formed a syndicate in the late 1960s to import and distribute foreign films and joined the Smothers Brothers Production Co. in the mid-1970s as head of new project development. In the 1980s, he became entertainment editor for “Israel Today,” freelanced celebrity interviews for CNN and served as liaison to film and TV industries for the American Cancer Society.
He is survived by two sons, two daughters and two grandchildren.