Steve Clements, ‘Kotter’ Writer, ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ Producer, Dies at 68

Steve Clements, a writer and executive producer for television with credits including “The All New Mickey Mouse Club,” “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “Three’s Company,” died Oct. 2 in Atlanta of natural causes. He was 68.

The New York native spent more that 40 years training, writing, directing and producing in all aspects of performance and national network television, most recently in Atlanta.

Clements was a writer for “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “Three’s Company” and for the talk/variety series “Dinah,” starring Dinah Shore, before co-creating the ground-breaking show for women “Hour Magazine,” hosted by Gary Collins. With Clements as supervising producer, the show ran eight years in national syndication and received six Emmy nominations.

Clements continued training throughout, preparing dozens of experts to greet national audiences including Bob Goen and Pat Sajak; chef and entrepreneur Wolfgang Puck; celebrity hairstylist Jose Eber; and fitness guru Richard Simmons.

Clements exec produced the “The All New Mickey Mouse Club” from 1989-91. His modernized version of Disney’s iconic 1950s program earned him three CableAce nominations. The show later gave rise to celebrities such as Keri Russell, JC Chasez, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

His credits also include producing the exercise/entertainment magazine show “Body by Jake” for the Samuel Goldwyn Co.

Clements directed his first stage production at age 14. He took his masters in theater and completed all but the dissertation for his doctorate in the subject before he began teaching and performing. While teaching television and speech for his high school alma mater, he did standup at the Improv and Catch a Rising Star and appeared Off Broadway with the Roundabout Theater Company.

Clements spent 12 years as distinguished professor of communications at Augusta State U. (University System of Georgia), heading the television/cinema track.

His most recent years were spent working with his wife, Claudia Coplon Clements, under their Executive Speak/Write banner, training professionals on how to be their best when speaking and writing.

Clements recounted his experiences from his 3,000 national television broadcasts in his trade/textbook “Show Runner: Producing Variety and Talk Shows for Television.”

He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a sister.

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