Louis M. Heyward

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Louis M. Heyward
Born June 24, 1920
New York City
Died March 26, 2002
Los Angeles

Louis Mortimere Heyward[1] (June 24, 1920 – March 26, 2002) was an American producer and film and television screenwriter. He was also known as "Deke" Heyward.

Life and career[edit]

Born in New York City, he intended to become a lawyer but started writing radio scripts part-time. he served in the United States Air Force for six years, then resumed writing for radio while working at Associated Press.

He then became a full-time comedy writer, providing scripts for eight seasons (1950–1958) of The Garry Moore Show. He also wrote material for The Ernie Kovacs Show, eventually becoming head writer for that series and winning he won a Sylvania Award for comedy writing. He developed The Dick Clark Show.

Heyward wrote scripts for Winky Dink and You, a children's show hosted by Jack Barry that ran on CBS from 1953 – 1957, that was created by Harry Prichett and Edwin Brit Wyckoff. The show is considered one of the first interactive TV shows.[2]

American International Pictures[edit]

In the early 1960s, Heyward relocated to Los Angeles and worked various executive positions at 20th Century Fox and MCA. His production experience at Fox and MCA and his proven penchant for comedy was noticed by James H. Nicholson of American International Pictures who asked Heyward if he was interested in writing a comedy for the studio.

Heyward's first credit for AIP was Pajama Party (1964), one of many Beach Party films made by the company. Heyward would subsequently write several more similar teen-themed AIP comedies, as well as horror films and science fiction thrillers. His best known work includes Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine. Heyward also began to be involved on the production side of things for AIP.

Head of AIP London[edit]

In 1966, Heyward was made AIP's Director of Overseas Productions, and set up a London-based office of operations in 1967. He produced several European and British films from 1967–1972, all co-financed by AIP with Heyward maintaining a degree of control over the various productions in order to ensure the movies were suitable for release in both the U.S. and European markets. In this capacity, he assisted in the production of some of AIP's most critically acclaimed and profitable films of that period, including Michael Reeves's Witchfinder General (1968), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), and Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972), all starring Vincent Price.

Later years[edit]

After his AIP days, Heyward became Vice President in Charge of Development for Barry & Enright Productions, a game show and TV-movie production company run by Jack Barry and Dan Enright. He served as Executive Producer of the company's popular Tic Tac Dough.

He also served briefly as vice president of development for Four Star Films and became a senior vice president at Hanna-Barbera, where he was in charge of live programming and movies of the week.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Heyward died of pneumonia.

He was survived by a wife, Sandra, and children Patti and Andy. Andy, is known as the longtime chairman and chief executive officer of animation studio DiC Entertainment until its June 20, 2008 acquisition by[4] and subsequent folding into[5] Cookie Jar Group.[6]

Select filmography[edit]

As writer[edit]

Films made under Heyward at AIP[edit]

Other films made as production executive[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]