|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Occupation||Television producer, writer, executive|
(m. 1966; div. 1969)
(m. 1979; div. 1990)
Barbara Corday (born October 15, 1944) is an American television executive, writer and producer known for co-creating the television series Cagney & Lacey.
Early life and education
Corday was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York City on October 15, 1944, the only child of Josephine "Josie" (née Rich) and Leo Corday. Her parents were both worked in the entertainment business: her mother was a professional singer and dancer, and her father wrote songs and jingles and was an editor for the Jewish Daily Forward. She graduated from Montebello High School in 1955. Her parents divorced when she was a teenager. She then moved to Miami with her mother where they had family and attended North Miami High School. After high school, at the age of 16, she moved back to New York City and worked as a receptionist for the Max Richards Theatrical agency which acted as an employment agency for actors.
After a year working as a receptionist, a family friend got her a job as a publicist at Mo Braveman Associates that represented nightclubs, singers, performers; she later went to work for Dorothy Ross Associates which represented Broadway shows. She credits her publicist background with learning how to write on demand. She moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960s after Henry Rogers approached her and her husband Michael Gershman (who was also a publicist) and asked them to start a music department for Rogers & Cowan particularly in representing Rock bands. She had to step down from the role because she became pregnant with her daughter. In 1972, she joined and worked as a publicist for the anti-war organization Another Mother for Peace where she met its founder, Barbara Avedon who was also a new mom. By happenstance, they were hired by Danny Arnold to write a script for a Barbara Eden pilot (which never went to development). They became writing partners and wrote several episodes for television series and a few pilots from 1972 to 1979 as free-lance writers including 19 episodes of Fish, 4 episodes of Sons and Daughters, Executive Suite, Wonder Woman, Maude, and Turnabout (where they met Sharon Gless). In 1974, they started working on Cagney and Lacey and tried to sell the script but were unsuccessful despite having support from Ed Feldman at the film development firm Filmways and from Sherry Lansing at MGM.
After giving up writing Corday worked at several networks and made a career as top executive. In 1979, she dissolved her partnership with Avedon, and was recommended by Anthony Thomopoulos as vice president for comedy development executive at ABC under Marcy Carsey. At ABC, she developed Bosom Buddies and Reggie. In 1981, the script for Cagney and Lacey was finally accepted by CBS who made a movie followed by a series from 1982 to 1988. In 1984, Herman Rush recommended that she take his position as a president of Columbia Pictures, the first woman senior executive at Coca-Cola which then owned Columbia Pictures. In 1988, Larry Tisch and Howard Stringer hired her as executive vice president of Primetime Programming at CBS Entertainment; she left in 1990. In 1992, she was the producer of the television series Knots Landing and from 1993 to 1994, she served as president of New World Television.
Corday was a founding member of the Hollywood Women's Political Committee, which operated from 1984 to 1997.
- Archive of American Television Interview
- People: "Cagney & Lacey Creators Barbara Corday and Barney Rosenzweig Mix Cops, Controversy and Marriage" by Jane Hall November 25, 1985
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
- Reuters (1997-04-14). "Women's Political Group Disbands in Hollywood". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
- Barbara Corday on IMDb
- biography at mbc
- biography on The Paley Center For Media
- Barbara Corday at The Interviews: An Oral History of Television
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