Sherwood Charles Schwartz
November 14, 1916
Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||July 12, 2011 (aged 94)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California|
|Children||4, including Lloyd|
Sherwood Charles Schwartz (/ʃwɔːrts/; November 14, 1916 – July 12, 2011) was an American television screenwriter and producer. He worked on radio shows in the 1940s, but he now is best known for creating the 1960s 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. That same year, Schwartz was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
Schwartz was born in Passaic, New Jersey, to a Jewish family. His parents were Herman and Rose Schwartz. He was 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. Sherwood Schwartz is the uncle of Douglas Schwartz (who created the Baywatch TV series), Bruce Schwartz and Judithe Randall.
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. Schwartz had hoped to become a doctor, but found that he was unable to be admitted to medical school at that time, due to a quota limiting the number of Jewish students.
He went on to write for Ozzie Nelson's The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and other radio shows. Schwartz served in the United States Army for over four years. While serving, he was a writer on the Armed Forces Radio Network before he got his break in television. From 1956 to 1962, Schwartz was head writer for The Red Skelton Show, for which he won an Emmy Award in 1961. 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 became a television icon himself.
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. 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. He also appeared as himself in a 1995 episode of Roseanne titled "Sherwood Schwartz, A Loving Tribute", which also featured the four surviving "Gilligan's Island" cast members.
On December 23, 1941, Sherwood Schwartz married Mildred Seidman, and together they had four children: Donald Schwartz, who became an ophthalmologist; Lloyd J. Schwartz, who worked with his father in a show business; Ross Schwartz, who became an attorney; and Hope Juber, a writer and producer. His granddaughter is singer-songwriter Ilsey Juber, the daughter of Hope and guitarist Laurence Juber, the former lead guitarist for the band Wings.
Sherwood Schwartz's play, Rockers, a comedy-drama, had a production at Theatre West in honor of his 90th birthday.
On July 12, 2011, Sherwood Schwartz died of natural causes in his sleep.
Schwartz was portrayed by Aaron Lustig in the TV movie Surviving Gilligan's Island and by Michael Tucker in Growing Up Brady.
Schwartz produced a number of radio and TV shows during his career.
|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|
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.
On November 10, 2006, his play Rockers opened in Theatre West in California. The play concerns the lives of three women living in a retirement home. The cast included Pat Crawford Brown, Lee Meriwether, and Elsa Raven.
He wrote and executive produced two unsold television pilots:
- Scamps (1982) — starring Bob Denver, Dreama Denver, and Joey Lawrence
- The Invisible Woman (1983) — starring Alexa Hamilton, Bob Denver, and Harvey Korman
- Won the 1961 Emmy Award for his writing on The Red Skelton Show.
- Was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his 2004 special Still Brady After All These Years
- On March 7, 2008, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Actresses Dawn Wells and Florence Henderson, who appeared in Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, respectively, accompanied Schwartz when he received his star. Also present was Patrick Denver, son of actor Bob Denver from Gilligan's Island, and Christopher Knight and Susan Olsen, the child stars of The Brady Bunch.
- Was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2008.
- ^ "Brady Bunch & Gilligan's Island Creator Receives Hollywood Walk of Fame Star". TV Series Final. March 7, 2008. Archived from the original on March 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- ^ "Honorees". Television Academy.
- ^ Bloom, Nate (December 19, 2006). "The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs". InterfaithFamily.com. Retrieved 2006-12-19.
- ^ "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.
- ^ "Sherwood Schwartz: The Med-School Reject Who Created 'Gilligan's Island'". 4 March 2014.
- ^ "Sherwood Schwartz Interview / TVparty!". www.tvparty.com.
- ^ "'Gilligan's Island' & 'The Brady Bunch' Creator Dies". KHITS Chicago. July 13, 2011. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011.
- ^ "Sitcom producers pick favorites for Nick at Nite 15th anniversary". CNN. The Associated Press. 2000-07-28. Archived from the original on 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
- ^ "Sherwood Schwartz dies: Creator of TV's "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch" was 94". Washington Post. July 12, 2011.
- 1916 births
- 2011 deaths
- Jewish American television producers
- Jewish American screenwriters
- American television writers
- American male television writers
- American entertainment industry businesspeople
- 20th-century American Jews
- People from Passaic, New Jersey
- Burials at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery
- Screenwriters from New Jersey
- United States Army soldiers
- 21st-century American Jews
- Television producers from New Jersey