×
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

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    CBS News Settles Suit Alleging Harassment by Charlie Rose

    CBS News settled a lawsuit filed by three women who alleged they were harassed by former “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose, and claimed CBS did not act despite being aware of the situation. The amount awarded to the women was not disclosed at their request, according to a CBS News spokesperson. “The matter has [...]

  • 'Liga' Kicks Off At Ventana Sur's

    Ventana Sur: 'La Liga' Kicks Off at Buenos Aires' Animation!

    Spain’s Quirino Awards, Argentina’s Animation! and Mexico’s Pixelatl Festival, three key events in Ibero-American animation, will join forces to create La Liga (The League), as announced Wednesday at an Animation! round table hosted by the Quirino Awards, titled “Iberoamerican Alliance Models.” Speakers included Quirino Awards promoter José Luis Farias, Mexico’s Pixelatl director José Iñesta, Gonzalo [...]

  • Netflix - Marvel's The Defenders

    Don't Expect 'The Defenders' on Disney Streaming Service Any Time Soon (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of the Marvel Television series recently canceled by Netflix who hope to see the shows revived on Disney+ may be out of luck. Sources tell Variety that the deal for the original four Marvel shows includes a clause that prevents the characters from appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after [...]

  • One Dollar CBS All Access

    'One Dollar' Canceled by CBS All Access After One Season

    “One Dollar” has the ignominious distinction of being the first CBS All Access original series to be canceled. Variety has confirmed that the streaming service will not be bringing the drama series back for a second season. The series was set in a small rust belt town in post-recession America, where a one-dollar bill changing [...]

  • Giancarlo Esposito Werner Herzog Carl Weathers

    'The Mandalorian' Adds Giancarlo Esposito, Werner Herzog, Carl Weathers to Cast

    “The Mandalorian” cast has taken shape. The upcoming live-action “Star Wars” streaming series has revealed that the cast now includes Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, and Werner Herzog. They join previously announced cast members Pedro Pascal, Nick Nolte, and Gina Carano. As with all things “Star Wars,” the exact nature of each actor’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content