Emmy award-winning television producer Kevin Burns, known for his work on the 2006 “Poseidon Adventure” remake and the “Lost in Space” reboot died Sunday of cardiac arrest, Prometheus Entertainment confirmed to Variety. He was 65.
In a statement to Variety, Prometheus Entertainment vice president of marketing and development Derek Thielges said all members of the company, of which Burns was the president, are deeply saddened by the loss.
Established in 1999, Prometheus’ productions include docudramas such as “The Curse of Oak Island” and Playboy-centered “The Girls Next Door,” as well as non-fiction History series “Ancient Aliens” and documentary special “Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed.”
Burns garnered a Primetime Emmy in 2002 for “Biography,” which traces the lives of celebrities and historical figures, in the outstanding non-fiction series category. The following year, he won a Daytime Emmy for producing “Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s.”
Throughout his career, Burns amassed more than 100 production credits, in addition to more than 30 writing and directing credits. Born and raised in Schenectady, N.Y., Burns developed his love for television and film at an early age. His proficiency at cartoon drawing helped draw the attention of his idol Fred Gwynne (“The Munsters”), who established a correspondence with him and fueled his passion for the industry.
After graduating from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., he enrolled in the graduate film program at Boston University’s College of Communication. In 1981, he received his master’s degree with the completion of documentary short “I Remember Barbra,” profiling Barbra Streisand’s native Brooklyn neighborhood, which earned him a documentary achievement award for student filmmaking from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In 1993, Burns co-founded Foxstar Productions, a TV movie production unit at 20th Century Fox Television and served in an executive capacity, producing three “Alien Nation” TV films, until 1999 when he retired from the post. Also that year, Burns partnered with film producer Jon Jashni (“Pacific Rim”) to found Synthesis Entertainment, where the two developed and produced reboots and sequels of Irwin Allen’s “The Poseidon Adventure,” “The Time Tunnel” and “Lost in Space,” an adaptation of which premiered on Netflix in 2018.
In a Facebook post, actor Bill Mumy, who starred in the original “Lost in Space” series, wrote: “I lost one of my very best friends today. Kevin Burns was without a doubt among the most multi-talented, generous, capable, loyal and loving friends I’ve ever known. Words fail me right now. Kevin and I spoke almost every day for the last thirty years. We bickered like an old married couple and we always knew we loved each other. He made a lot of people very happy. I will not forget all the blessings that he brought to my family.”
Burns is survived by his niece, Jill.