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Sherwood Schwartz, "Gilligan's Island" and "Brady Bunch" creator, dead at 94

Writer/producer Sherwood Schwartz receives a kiss from "The Brady Bunch" actress Florence Henderson, left, and "Gilligan's Island" actress Dawn Wells during a ceremony where Schwartz was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, March 7, 2008. AP

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of the classic TV shows "Gilligan's Island" and "The Brady Bunch," has died.

Great niece Robin Randall says the writer-producer died at 4 a.m. Tuesday. He was 94.

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Schwartz was hospitalized at Cedars Sinai Medical Center about a week ago with an intestinal infection and underwent several surgeries. His wife, Mildred, and children have been at his side, said his nephew, Douglas Schwartz.

Schwartz was a veteran comedy writer when he created two of TV's best-remembered sitcoms in the 1960s. Over the years, they have inspired parodies, spinoffs and countless stand-up comedy jokes.

Schwartz got his start writing for radio shows like "The Bob Hope Show" and "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" before transitioning to television. He was a writer on the '50s sitcom "I Married Joan" and the variety series "The Red Skeleton Show" (the latter won him an Emmy Award in 1961).


He then went on to create "Gilligan's Island," "It's About Time" and "The Brady Bunch." He also helped to write the theme songs for all three shows.

"Gilligan's Island" featured a hummable theme song telling how a boatload of seven characters, including a professor and a movie star, wound up stranded on an island. Bob Denver played Gilligan, the assistant skipper. It lasted on CBS from 1964 to 1967, and was revived in later seasons with three high-rated TV movies. A children's cartoon, "The New Adventures of Gilligan," appeared on ABC from 1974 to 1977, and in 2004, Schwartz had a hand in producing a TBS reality show called "The Real Gilligan's Island."

"The Brady Bunch" featured Florence Henderson as a widow with three daughters who marries a widower with three sons. The series lasted from 1969 to 1974, but it had an amazing afterlife. It was followed by three one-season spinoffs: "The Brady Bunch Hour" (1977), "The Brady Brides" (1981) and "The Bradys" (1990). "The Brady Bunch Movie," with Shelley Long and Gary Cole as the parents, was a surprise box-office hit in 1995. It was followed the next year by the less successful "A Very Brady Sequel."

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