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Warren Lockhart dies at 71

Produced Oscar-winning docu and Peanuts-related shows

Warren Landry Lockhart, producer of the Oscar-winning documentary “Who Are the DeBolts? (And Where Did They Get 19 Children?)” and part of the team who helped turn Charles Schulz’s Peanuts into ice-skating shows and record albums, died suddenly in his Culver City office on Jan. 19. He was 71.

Lockhart was a writer and producer of family-themed films, television specials and theatrical productions.

He began his showbiz career somewhat indirectly through his work at United Airlines during the 1960s. At United he was in management marketing, focusing on travel logistics for film and entertainment companies and entertainers, such as Peter, Paul and Mary and Shipstads & Johnson Ice Follies.

In 1968 Lockhart went to work for the Ice Follies, where he devised the concept of bringing Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters to the ice-skating show. Schulz introduced him to Lee Mendelson, producer of the Peanuts television specials, and soon hired Lockhart as president of Charles Schulz Creative Associates, managing the marketing and distribution of Peanuts merchandise worldwide with United Features Syndicate. The company also produced television, stage and film projects.

In 1973 Lockhart, with co-producers Duane Bogie and Walt deFaria, developed an adaptation of Mary Norton children’s fantasy novel “The Borrowers” as a special for the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” series, and Lockhart drew an Emmy nomination for the NBC telepic.

Lockhart was part of the writing team who produced “Snoopy! The Musical,” a sequel to the Broadway production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

He collaborated with Mendelson in 1976 on “Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown,” which drew the Daytime Emmy for informational children’s special. Lockhart co-exec produced 1977’s “The Mouse and His Child,” an adaptation of Russell Hoban’s novel about two mechanical toy mice. In 1977 and 1978, he received Grammy nominations for best children’s recording for his work on “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Charlie Brown’s All-Stars,” respectively.

With co-producers John Korty and Dan McCann, Lockhart shared the 1978 Academy Award for documentary feature for “Who Are the DeBolts? (And Where Did They Get 19 Kids?),” a film about a couple who built a unique family comprised mostly of disabled children.

“Who Are the DeBolts?” was adapted for television in 1979 and picked up an Emmy nomination for informational program.

Lockhart was born in Hollywood, Calif. His father and grandfather both worked as sound technicians for the studios. He received his Bachelor of Sciences degree from UC Berkeley.

He is survived by his wife, Linda; two daughters and a son; and seven grandchildren.

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