Rudy Tellez, producer of NBC’s “Tonight Show” in the 1960s, died Nov. 22 in Albuquerque, N.M. He was 78. Tellez died after a long struggle to recover from a stroke he suffered in 2002.
More recently, Tellez and his wife Tenaya Torres-Tellez were part owners and on-air personalities at KASK-FM radio in Las Cruces, N.M.
Born in El Paso, he attended Texas Western U. and began his career at KTSM in El Paso, Texas, as a radio producer and on-air personality. Tellez produced talk show host Les Crane in the early 1960s in San Francisco for KGO, and went on to produce such programs as “The Tomorrow Show” with Tom Snyder, “The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters” and “The Battle of the Network Stars.” He produced the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson for four years in the 1960s, for which he was nominated for two Emmy awards. He later won two Emmys for creating “Both Sides Now” and “Barbour’s Half-Hour.”
He is survived by his wife and two sons.