×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jack Elinson dies at 89

Comedy writer-producer contributed to iconic shows

TV comedy writer Jack Elinson, who penned numerous episodes of series such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,” “Good Times,” “One Day at a Time” and “The Facts of Life” during a career of more than five decades, died Thursday, Nov. 17, of natural causes in Santa Monica. He was 89.

Elinson was executive producer or producer on many of the shows for which he wrote.

During the 1950s, he wrote for series including “All-Star Revue,” “The Colgate Comedy Hour,” “The Duke,” “The Jimmy Durante Show,” “Hey, Jeannie!,” “The Johnny Carson Show” and “The Real McCoys.” During the 1960s, Elinson earned credits on shows including “The Danny Thomas Show” (aka “Make Room for Daddy”) and was a writer-producer on “Gomer Pyle,” “Run, Buddy, Run” and “That Girl.”

In the ’70s, helped shape such hit shows as “Good Times” (where he was a writer-producer) and “One Day at Time” (where he penned episodes and was an exec producer), as well as “The Doris Day Show” and the animated sitcom “Wait Till Your Father Gets Home.” During the ’80s, his writings included “The Facts of Life” (exec producer) and “227.” Elinson developed the latter Marla Gibbs comedy (which was created by C.J. Banks and Bill Boulware, based on the play by Christine Houston) and exec produced it for several seasons.

In 1961, Elinson received an Emmy nomination for comedy series (shared with Charles Stewart) for his work on “Make Room for Daddy.” He was nominated four times for Writers Guild Awards, the last time in 1989, for his work on “Jay Leno’s Family Comedy Hour” (shared with others) and shared a WGA award for co-writing an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Elinson was born in New York City and was stationed in Italy for several years while serving in the Army during WWII. After the war he followed his brother into show business, first writing jokes for Walter Winchell’s newspaper column and then working on radio shows.

In the early days of television, Elinson was hired as part of the writing team for “The Colgate Comedy Hour.” He was soon creating comedic sketches for “The Ed Wynn Show,” “The Jimmy Durante Show” and “The Garry Moore Show.”

Elinson was a Writers Guild of America member since 1948, serving on a number of WGAW committees.

He is survived by his second wife, Estelle; three sons and a daughter; three stepchildren; and 12 grandchildren.

Donations may be made to Opica Daycare and/or Skirball Hospice, both in Los Angeles County.

More TV

  • Germany's Leonine Buys ‘Dark’ and '4

    German Indie Studio Leonine Buys ‘Dark’ and '4 Blocks' Producer W&B TV

    Leonine has acquired “Dark” producer W&B TV from Endemol Shine. Fledgling German studio Leonine had already bought Wiedemann & Berg Film and established itself as a Munich-based movies, TV, and digital production and distribution group. It has now added the W&B TV unit to its roster. The production company is behind several big German dramas [...]

  • PBS Masterpiece Boards British Political Thriller

    PBS Masterpiece Boards Hugh Laurie, Helen McCrory Political Thriller 'Roadkill'

    Britain is getting a new prime minister – on TV, at least, after “Peaky Blinders” star Helen McCrory signed on to play the part in the BBC political thriller “Roadkill.” PBS Masterpiece has boarded the series and will co-produce and launch it in the U.S. Masterpiece’s Rebecca Eaton will exec produce the project. McCrory joins [...]

  • U.K. Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to

    U.K.-Based Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to Future in $30 Million Deal

    Barcroft Studios has been bought by Future in a £23.5 million ($30.1 million) deal. The U.K.-based production outfit specializes in factual fare for channels and platforms, and its own branded channels on the likes of YouTube. Future is a U.K.-listed print and online publishing and events business. Sam Barcroft will stay on as CEO at [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Agencies' Antitrust Suit Against Writers Guild Set for January Hearing

    The antitrust suit filed by Hollywood’s major agencies against the Writers Guild of America has been set for a Jan. 17 hearing. U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte issued the calendar update this week on the litigation, filed on Sept. 27 by CAA, UTA and WME after the agencies consolidated their individual agency suits. The [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris SAG Awards

    Gabrielle Carteris Preps for 26th Annual SAG Awards

    SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is already looking forward to the 26th SAG Awards on Jan. 19, held in its usual location at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. “One of the best things about the SAG Awards is that it’s a peer-to-peer recognition,” she says. “It’s the highest honor for performers to be recognized by [...]

  • GoliathSeason 3CR: Greg Lewis/Amazon Studios

    'Goliath’ Renewed for Fourth and Final Season at Amazon

    Amazon has renewed gritty legal drama “Goliath” for a fourth and final season. The series centers on washed-up lawyer Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who seeks redemption after a client he successfully defended from a murder charge went on to slaughter a family. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance in 2017. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content