Robert Achille Schiller
November 8, 1918
|Died||October 10, 2017 (aged 98)|
Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1947; her death 1965)
Sabrina Scharf (m. 1968)
|Children||4 (2 with each wife)|
Robert Achille Schiller (November 8, 1918 – October 10, 2017) was an American screenwriter. He worked extensively with fellow producer/screenwriter Bob Weiskopf on numerous television shows in the United States, including I Love Lucy (1955–1957) and All in the Family (1977–1979) on the CBS network. For the latter series, he received an Emmy Award in 1978 as one of the writers of the episode "Cousin Liz."
His second wife was American politician, actress and attorney Sabrina Scharf.
Life and career
Schiller was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Lucille E. (Block) and Roland E. Schiller, a manufacturer. Schiller began writing for television in 1950. His credits include the 1955 CBS sitcom Professional Father, starring Stephen Dunne as a child psychologist and Barbara Billingsley as his wife. That same year, he wrote for two competing series, NBC's The Jimmy Durante Show and CBS's It's Always Jan, starring Janis Paige as a widowed single mother in New York City. During 1954–1955, Schiller was one of the writers for That's My Boy, starring Eddie Mayehoff and Gil Stratton. Schiller's producing credits include The Good Guys and All's Fair.
Schiller also penned radio scripts for such classic shows as Duffy's Tavern, Abbott and Costello, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Mel Blanc Show, Sweeney and March, The Jimmy Durante Show, and December Bride, and then for TV stars such as Danny Thomas, Ed Wynn, Garry Moore, and Red Buttons.
Creative partnership with Bob Weiskopf
The creative partnership and friendship with Bob Weiskopf began in 1953. Weiskopf, also a comedy writer, had just relocated to Los Angeles from New York City. Schiller's first wife recommended a school to Weiskopf's wife, and also mentioned that Schiller was looking for a partner. The two writers first collaborated on a radio script for the Our Miss Brooks show before delving into the new medium of network television. They wrote for popular 1950s shows such as Make Room for Daddy, The Bob Cummings Show, I Love Lucy, the television adaptation of the popular radio series My Favorite Husband, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Ann Sothern Show (which they co-created), and Pete and Gladys.
Further success would continue into the 1960s and 1970s with such series as The Lucy Show, The Red Skelton Show, The Good Guys (where they were also co-producers), The Phyllis Diller Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Flip Wilson Show, Maude (which they also co-produced), All in the Family and its spinoff series, Archie Bunker's Place. Schiller and Weiskopf were honored with two Emmy Awards, a pair of Peabody Awards, a Golden Globe, and the Writers’ Guild of America's Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Achievement.
Schiller's first wife Joyce Harris died in 1965. They had two children, including director Tom Schiller. He was married to actress Sabrina Scharf (née Trentman) from May 25, 1968, until his death on October 10, 2017, died in Pacific Palisades, California They as well had two children.
- Genzlinger, Neil (October 12, 2017). "Bob Schiller, Writer on Beloved TV Comedies, Dies at 98". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
- Barnes, Mike (2017-10-10). "Bob Schiller, Writer on 'I Love Lucy,' Dies at 98". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
- "Wesley Hyatt, "Comedy Time"". tvparty.com. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
- "LucyLibrary Profile: Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf: I Love Lucy Writers," LucyLibrary.com article Archived May 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, accessed July 7, 2013.