January 3, 1917|
Troy, New York
|Died||September 25, 1985
Los Angeles, California
Jay Sommers (January 3, 1917 - September 25, 1985) was a producer, director and comedy writer whose career spanned four decades. He wrote more than 90 television comedy episodes, produced 63, and was creator and producer of the Green Acres television show. He also wrote for and executive produced Petticoat Junction during its second and third seasons, and also worked for The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
In 1940, he got a break by being brought in to write for a Milton Berle radio show. (Berle at the time was one of the most popular radio personalities.) He wrote for The Alan Young Show, Eddie Cantor and Red Skelton on the radio, and for the radio comedy series Lum and Abner.
In 1950, he was the producer, writer and director for the Granby's Green Acres radio show. Although it only ran for two months, it was very similar to the highly successful Green Acres television show that he created 15 years later, where he was the main producer and writer.
His first television work was in 1955, as a writer for The Great Gildersleeve. He wrote three episodes of Hello, Larry toward the end of his life. He is credited for the story and screenplay for the movie Gordy, released 10 years after his death.
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- Folkart, Burt A. (September 28, 1985). "'Lum and Abner,' 'Green Acres' Among Credits : Jay Sommers, Prolific Writer for Radio, TV Shows, Dies at 68". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
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- "Deaths" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 7, 1985. p. 94. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Brennan, Sandra. Allmovie