Archive for the ‘"Make Room For Daddy’ Category

Legendary William Morris Agent Ruth Engelhardt Has Died– Archive Interview Online

Friday, July 25th, 2008


Ruth Engelhart was associated with the William Morris Agency for over fifty years. She died at the age of 86 on July 23.

Click here to watch Ruth Engelhardt’s entire 8-part interview.

Interview Description:
Ruth Engelhardt was interviewed for three-and-a-half hours in Los Angeles, CA. Engelhardt vividly described her over 55-year association with the William Morris Agency. She recalled how she worked her way up from being a secretary to an executive in Business Affairs by earning her law degree attending night school. She discussed the structure of the Agency, the key figures in its executive suites, and its important television accounts. She talked about the packaging of such television series as The Life of Riley, The Danny Thomas Show, and I Spy. She spoke in great detail about the creation of one of the biggest hits of the 1980s, The Cosby Show. Additionally, Engelhardt talked about such topics as contract negotiations, the era of the Hollywood Blacklist, and the 1975 formation of CAA by ex-WMA agents. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on October 9, 2003.

7/31/08 UPDATE: Read a wonderful tribute to Ruth Engelhardt’s legacy by Variety’s Cynthia Littleton.

"Andy Griffith Show" Theme Composer Earle Hagen Has Died at the Age of 88

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008


Earle Hagen, who composed (and whistled) The Andy Griffith Show theme, has died. The accomplished composer also wrote the memorable Dick Van Dyke Show theme music and won an Emmy Award for I Spy.

Earle Hagen was interviewed by TV’s Biggest Hits author Jon Burlingame in 1997. His entire five hour interview can be viewed here.

Interview description:

Mr. Hagen described the pleasure of working with producers Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas, and creating the themes, as well as writing the music for: The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Spy, and Mod Squad, to name a few.

"Make Room For Daddy" and "My World and Welcome To It" Creator Melville Shavelson Has Died— Archive Interview Online

Thursday, August 9th, 2007


Mel Shavelson, who wrote for such comedians as Bob Hope and Danny Kaye, has died at the age of 90. He created the classic sitcom Make Room for Daddy, starring Danny Thomas. He also wrote and directed for the movies and is a two-time Oscar nominee (for The Seven Little Foys and Houseboat [for original screenplay, shared with partner Jack Rose]). He was also a former President of the Writers Guild of America, west and most currently served on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation’s Board of Directors.

This year, on his 90th birthday, Mr. Shavelson published an autobiography: “How To Succeeed in Hollywood Without Really Trying: P.S. – You Can’t”

Click here to access his entire four-and-a-half hour interview.

Interview description:
Mel Shavelson was interviewed for four-and-a-half hours in Los Angeles, CA. Mr. Shavelson talked about starting out as a press agent with Milt Josefsberg in 1938. He moved to Los Angeles the following year, with Mr. Josefsberg, to write for the radio show “The Pepsodent Bob Hope Show.” In 1947, he wrote for the first commercial television program ever broadcast west of the Mississippi, for Paramount’s experimental station W6XYZ that became KTLA. In 1953, he created the sitcom Make Room For Daddy. Mr. Shavelson also discussed the critically acclaimed series My World and Welcome To It, which he also created. He also talked about the Writers Guild of America, for which he served as president. He spoke about writing and directing the following television movies: The Legend of Valentino, The Great Houdini, and Ike. The interview was conducted by Karen Herman on April 6, 1999.