The Writers Guild of America West has tapped veteran comedy writer Aaron Ruben to receive its Valentine Davies Award for public service.
Kudos will be presented at the guild’s 55th awards ceremony March 8.
The Valentine Davies Award is given to writers “who have contributed to the entertainment industry as well as the community at large, and who have brought dignity and honor to the profession of writing everywhere.” Past recipients include Fay and Michael Kanin, Garry Marshall, Hal Kanter, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Mary McCall Jr., Phil Alden Robinson, Norman Lear, Ray Bradbury, Barry Kemp, Philip Dunne, Alan Alda and David Angell.
“Aaron Ruben’s lifetime of good work reflects well on writers everywhere,” said WGAW president Victoria Riskin. “He has dedicated his life to helping children, which reaffirms my hope that our lives can be spent as usefully. His selflessness is inspiring.”
Ruben started his writing career in radio, working for Burns and Allen, Fred Allen and Milton Berle. He began TV writing in the early 1950s, working on comedy and variety shows for Berle, Sid Caesar, Danny Thomas, Eddie Cantor and others.
Ruben was a producer on “The Andy Griffith Show” and a creator and exec producer of “Gomer Pyle, USMC.” He co-wrote and co-produced feature film “The Comic,” worked as a producer on “Sanford and Son” and was creator-executive producer of Don Rickles laffer “C.P.O. Sharkey.”
In the 1980s, he exec produced “The Stockard Channing Show,” “Teachers Only” and “Too Close for Comfort”; in the 1990s, he became a creative consultant on “Matlock.”
Ruben has been a court-appointed special advocate, representing abused and abandoned children in juvenile court, for 15 years. In 1999, he was named volunteer of the year by the Los Angeles Child Advocate Office and established the Aaron Ruben Scholarship Fund. In addition, he volunteers for the Hospice Program at Cedars Sinai Hospital.