Quinn Martin

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Quinn Martin
Born May 22, 1922 (1922-05-22)
New York City
Died September 5, 1987(1987-09-05) (aged 65)
Rancho Santa Fe, California
Occupation Television producer
Spouse(s) Madelyn Pugh (a.k.a. Madelyn Davis); Marianne Muffet Webb
Children Michael (with Pugh); Jill, Cliff (with Webb)

Quinn Martin (May 22, 1922 – September 5, 1987) was one of the most prolific American television producers. He had at least one television series running in prime time every year for 21 straight years (from 1959 to 1980), an industry record.[1] Martin is a member of the Television Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 1997.[2]

Early life[edit]

He was born on May 22, 1922[3] in New York City as Irwin Martin Cohn, the second of two children. His father Martin G. Cohn was a film editor and producer at MGM; his mother was Anna Cohn. From age four he was raised in Los Angeles. He graduated from Fairfax High School. He served five years in the U.S. Army during World War II, enlisting in the Signal Corps at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California on September 10, 1940. He achieved the rank of sergeant. He changed his name to Quinn Martin (the Quinn came from the pronunciation his friends gave of Cohn, as "Co-Inn").[citation needed]

While attending the University of California, Berkeley,[1] Martin majored in English but did not graduate. Martin started his career in television as a film editor at MGM and also worked as manager of post production for various organizations including Universal Studios (1950–1954), but by the mid-1950s had become an executive producer for Desilu Studios.[1] His first wife, Madelyn Pugh Davis, was one half of the writing team behind Desilu's classic I Love Lucy.[4] In 1959 he produced for Desilu Productions a two part special that appeared in season 1 of Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse that became a weekly television show The Untouchables that would go on to win Emmy Awards.

In 1960, Martin established his own production company, QM Productions. He sold it in 1978 and worked as an adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego's Warren College,[1] where he also endowed a chair in drama.[5] He also established a scholarship for theater arts and communications students at Santa Clara University [6]

QM Productions[edit]

QM Productions produced a string of successful television series during the 1960s and 1970s, including; The Fugitive, Twelve O'Clock High, The F.B.I., The Invaders, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, and Barnaby Jones. Besides producing sixteen one-hour television network series, he also produced twenty TV movies, including Attack on Terror, Brinks: The Great Robbery, Face of Fear, House on Greenapple Road, and Murder of Mercy. His only venture into the world of cinema was The Mephisto Waltz, released by Twentieth Century-Fox.[citation needed] The series' produced by the company was usually introduced with an announcer verbally announcing the name of the show and then saying, "A QM Production". The stars of the show were shown and verbally announced and then pictures of the guest stars for that week were shown and verbally announced.

In 1979, a group of investors purchased his wholly owned QM Productions and sold it subsequently to Taft Broadcasting.[7] After selling QM Productions he moved to Rancho Santa Fe, California where he became president of the La Jolla Playhouse and the Del Mar Fair Board. He was also involved with business activities developing motion pictures for Warner Bros. with a new company, QM Communications.

Thoroughbred racing[edit]

A fan of thoroughbred horse racing, Martin owned several racehorses alone and in partnerships. Among his racing wins were the 1975 and 1978 editions of the Carleton F. Burke Handicap at Santa Anita Park.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Quinn Martin died of heart failure on September 5, 1987 in his home in Rancho Santa Fe, aged 65.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Quinn Martin at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Note: Aaron Spelling holds the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Prolific TV Drama Producer, having produced more than 3,800 hours of television programming.
  2. ^ "Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List". 
  3. ^ Etter, Jonathan (2003). Quinn Martin, Producer: A Behind-the-scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder. Walter Grauman, contributor. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7864-1501-4. 
  4. ^ Madelyn Pugh Davis at Museum of Television & Radio.
  5. ^ UCSD Academic Affairs: Endowed Chairs.
  6. ^ Santa Clara University
  7. ^ Martin B. Boorstein profile at Walden Capital Partners.
  8. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang (September 7, 1987). "Quinn Martin Is Dead at 65; Produced Popular TV Series". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-01. "Quinn Martin, one of Hollywood's most successful producers of action-adventure series for television, died of a heart attack Saturday at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. He was 65 years old ... Martin is survived by his wife, Muffet; three children, Jill, Cliff and Michael, and his mother." 

References[edit]

  • 1930 Federal Census
  • Obituary: Quinn Martin. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 8 September 1987.
  • Obituary: Quinn Martin. San Francisco Chronicle. 8 September 1987.
  • Obituary: Quinn Martin. South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 8 September 1987.
  • Obituary: Quinn Martin. Washington Post. 8 September 1987.
  • Social Security Death Index
  • U.S. Army Enlistment Records (5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 151 lb (68 kg) at enlistment)

Further reading[edit]

  • Etter, Jonathan. (2003). Quinn Martin, Producer: A Behind-the-Scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc.

External links[edit]