Sherwood Schwartz

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Sherwood Schwartz
Sherwood Schwartz Star Ceremony.jpg
Schwartz receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2008)
Born Sherwood Charles Schwartz
(1916-11-14)November 14, 1916
Passaic, New Jersey
Died July 12, 2011(2011-07-12) (aged 94)
Los Angeles, California
Cause of death
Natural causes
Resting place
Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California
Occupation Television producer, screenwriter
Years active 1938–2011
Spouse(s) Mildred Seidman (December 12, 1941 – July 12, 2011 (his death))
Children Donald (b. May 26, 1943)
Lloyd (b. May 2, 1946)
Ross Schwartz (b. August 9, 1949)
Hope Juber (b. 30 March 1956)

Sherwood Charles Schwartz (November 14, 1916 – July 12, 2011) was an American television producer. He worked on radio shows in the 1940s, and created the television series Gilligan's Island on CBS and The Brady Bunch on ABC. On March 7, 2008, Schwartz, at the time still active in his 90s, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[1] That same year, Schwartz was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Schwartz's entertainment career came "by accident". He relocated from New York to southern California to pursue a Master of Science degree in Biology. In need of employment, he began writing jokes for Bob Hope's radio program, for which Schwartz's brother, Al Schwartz, worked. Schwartz recalled that Hope "liked my jokes, used them on his show and got big laughs. Then he asked me to join his writing staff. I was faced with a major decision—writing comedy or starving to death while I cured those diseases. I made a quick career change."[3]

He went on to write for Ozzie Nelson's The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and other radio shows. Schwartz was a writer on the Armed Forces Radio Network before he got his break in television. He went on to create and produce Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch. He wrote the theme song for three of his shows: Gilligan's Island (co-wrote), It's About Time, and The Brady Bunch.

Syndication turned his two major successes into TV institutions with cultural relevance. He made them icons, and as a result he became a television icon.[4]

TV appearances[edit]

During the late 1990s and the 2000s, he made many appearances on TV talking about his series, on shows such as the CBS Evening News, 20/20, TV Land's Top Ten and A&E's Biography. He also took part in a "Creators" marathon on Nick at Nite in the late 1990s.[5] He was also a guest at the 2004 TV Land Awards.

In 1988, Schwartz appeared on The Late Show with Ross Shafer for a Gilligan's Island reunion, along with all seven castaways from Gilligan's Island. This was the last time they were all together on television.

Personal life[edit]

Schwartz was born in Passaic, New Jersey to a Jewish family.[6] His parents were Herman and Rose Schwartz. He is a younger brother of writer, Al Schwartz. His younger brother, Elroy Schwartz (1923-2013), a comedy writer, became a principal screenwriter for Gilligan's Island and other series.[7] Sherwood Schwartz is the uncle of Douglas Schwartz, Bruce Schwartz and Judithe Randall.

On 23 December 1941 he married his wife of 69 years Mildred which he considered his greatest accomplishment and together they had four children (3 sons and 1 daughter): Donald, who became an ophthalmologist, Lloyd, who worked with his father and in show business, Ross, who became an attorney, and Hope. Sherwood's play, Rockers, a comedy-drama had a production at Theatre West in honor of his 90th birthday.

Pop culture references[edit]

On a Robin Hood-themed episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, a character states that Sherwood Forest is a relative of Sherwood Schwartz. Also, a Roseanne episode was entirely devoted to Gilligan's Island and was titled "Sherwood Schwartz: A Loving Tribute". In Raising Hope, Sherwood is indirectly mentioned during the opening scene of the second season as someone who "started each day with a song that perfectly recapped what was going on". Then she points to an empty chair with a Gilligan-type sailor cap on it. During the episode, the main character, Jimmy, loses his memory and his doctor advises him that unlike a sitcom, memory can't be regained by hitting someone on the head again and uses an episode of Gilligan's Island to illustrate the point.

Schwartz was portrayed by Aaron Lustig in the TV movie Surviving Gilligan's Island and by Michael Tucker in Growing Up Brady.

Death[edit]

On July 12, 2011, Sherwood Schwartz died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes.[8] He is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Mildred Schwartz and their four children: Donald, Lloyd (the creator of The Munsters Today), Ross, and Hope (wife of Laurence Juber; reportedly named after Bob Hope). He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Juli, Jill, Jackie, Andy, Becky, Nico, Ilsey, Sprewell and Elliot as well as five great-grandchildren: Rachel, Sarah, Evan, Ignatious and Aidan.[9] He was buried at the Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California.[10]

Filmography[edit]

Schwartz produced a number of radio and TV shows during his career.

Series Years Job
The Bob Hope Show 1938–1942 Writer for radio version
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet 1940s Writer for radio version
The Alan Young Show 1940s Writer for radio version
I Married Joan 1952–1955 Writer
The Red Skelton Show 1956–1962 Writer
My Favorite Martian 1963 Script supervisor
Gilligan's Island 1964–1967 Writer, creator, producer
It's About Time 1966–1967 Writer, creator, producer
The Brady Bunch 1969–1974 Writer, creator, producer
Dusty's Trail 1973–1974 Writer, creator, producer
Big John, Little John 1976 Producer
Harper Valley PTA 1981–1982 Writer, producer
Together We Stand 1986–1987 Writer, producer

Stage productions[edit]

On November 10, 2006, his play Rockers opened in Theater West in California. In 1990, he wrote Gilligan's Island: The Musical, still in production as of 2011. His son Lloyd, daughter Hope, and son-in-law Laurence Juber worked on the play as well.[citation needed]

Unsold pilots[edit]

He wrote and executive produced two unsold television pilots:

Awards[edit]

Quotes[edit]

"It's one world, and we all have to learn to live with each other."[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brady Bunch & Gilligan’s Island Creator Receives Hollywood Walk of Fame Star". TV Series Final. March 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  2. ^ "Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List". 
  3. ^ "Sherwood Schwartz Dead at 94". Hollywood Hiccups. 2011-07-12. 
  4. ^ "‘Gilligan’s Island’ & ‘The Brady Bunch’ Creator Dies". KHITS Chicago. July 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ The Associated Press (2000-07-28). "Sitcom producers pick favorites for Nick at Nite 15th anniversary". CNN. Archived from the original on 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2007-06-09. 
  6. ^ Bloom, Nate (December 19, 2006). "The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs". InterfaithFamily.com. Retrieved 2006-12-19. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Elroy Schwartz, TV writer, dies at 89". The Desert Sun. 2013-06-17. Archived from the original on 2013-07-06. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  8. ^ "Sherwood Schwartz, creator of ‘The Brady Bunch’ and ‘Gilligan’s Island’, dies at age 94". Washington Post. July 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  9. ^ "'Gilligan's Island', 'Brady Bunch' creator Sherwood Schwartz Dies". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-07-12
  10. ^ Sherwood Schwartz at Find a Grave

External links[edit]