2 items from 2014
Comedy writer Ben Starr, whose career stretched from radio through 1980s sitcoms, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 92.
Starr was a co-creator of NBC comedies “The Facts of Life” and “Silver Spoons.” During his long career, he wrote for TV comedies ranging from “All in the Family” to “Diff’rent Strokes” as well as “Mr. Ed,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Petticoat Junction,” “The Brady Bunch” and “Chico and the Man.”
Starr inadvertently helped create the famous catchphrase from “Diff’rent Strokes” — “Whatchu talking ’bout Willis?” The line as written in an early script for the show was “What are you talking about, Willis?” but after star Gary Coleman gave it his distinctive delivery, Starr knew it was a keeper.
- Variety Staff
Veteran comedy writer Ben Starr died Sunday at the age of 92. Starr began his Hollywood career in radio as a writer for Al Jolson, George Burns, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. He later segued into television, amassing dozens of credits over a nearly 50-year span, most recently as a writer on 2001′s The Facts Of Life TV Reunion. Starr was a writer and co-creator of the Facts Of Life, which first aired in 1979 and ran through 1988. His other writing and/or producing credits include Mr. Ed (1961-1963), The Andy Griffith Show (1966), The Brady Bunch (1971-1973), Maude (1974), Chico And The Man (1977), All In The Family (1975-1978), Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1982) and Silver Spoons (1982-1987). Starr’s film credits include Oliver Twist (1974), Treasure Island (1973), and 1966′s Texas Across The River and Our Man Flint. He also was featured in Lunch, Donna Kanter’s documentary about comedians. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
2 items from 2014
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