|Born||Bruce Bernard Geller
October 13, 1930
New York City, New York
|Died||May 21, 1978(aged 47)|
|Cause of death||plane crash|
|Alma mater||Yale University (1952)|
|Known for||Mission Impossible TV series|
|Spouse(s)||Jeannette Marx (September 1953 - his death)|
|Relatives||L. Geller of Quebec, Canada (daughter)
C. Geller of Boston, Massachusetts (daughter)
Life and Education
He pursued a career writing scripts for shows on the DuMont Television Network including Jimmy Hughes, Rookie Cop (1953) and others. He also wrote the book and lyrics for musical theatre productions including Livin' the Life (1957) and All in Love (1961) but his efforts met with only modest success. Geller left New York for Los Angeles, where he was employed writing scripts for episodes of several television series, including Zane Grey Theater, Have Gun, Will Travel, and The Rifleman. He also worked as the co-executive producer of the Rawhide series for the 1964-1965 television season.
While producing Rawhide in the mid-1960s, he developed the idea for a new "cloak-and-dagger" series, Mission Impossible.
In 1966, Geller created, wrote, produced, and directed the television series Mission: Impossible, the accomplishment for which he is best remembered. The show ran on CBS from 1966 to 1973 and earned him an Emmy Award in 1966 as the show's producer plus another for "Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama." During the first season, a photograph of Geller was included in the dossier of Impossible Missions Force agents that IMF leaders Dan Briggs and Jim Phelps perused each week and was often visible on screen (such as in the episodes "Memory" and "Operation Rogosh"). The series was revived in 1988 and aired until 1990 on ABC.
Geller also wrote, produced, and directed for the popular Mannix TV series, which was twice nominated for an Emmy Award. In 1973 he made his only venture into feature films, producing and directing Harry in Your Pocket starring James Coburn and Walter Pidgeon.
A flying enthusiast, Bruce Geller died when the Cessna 337D Skymaster he was piloting ran into difficulty in foggy conditions and crashed into Buena Vista Canyon near Santa Barbara, California. He is interred in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.