Television’s Sherwood Schwartz passes away at 94
By Greg David
Darn it. Sherwood Schwartz, the man who — for better or worse — shaped me into the TV enthusiast I am today, passed away Tuesday morning. He was 94. Schwartz’s son, Lloyd, revealed to media that his father died of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
To a generation of television watchers, Schwartz is well-known. He’s the guy who created, among others, both The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, which have aired around the world in syndication. Schwartz’s more than six-decade career began in 1939, when he wrote gags for Bob Hope’s radio show.
A seven-year gig as head writer on NBC’s The Red Skelton Show lead into Gilligan’s Island, which aired on CBS from 1964 to 1967. Starring Bob Denver in the title role of the SS Minnow’s bumbling crew member, Gilligan’s Island starred the exasperated skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.), the millionaire and his wife (Jim Backus and Natalie Schafer), the professor (Russell Johnson), the naive country girl (Dawn Wells) and the sexy movie star (Tina Louise). Schwartz won an Emmy in 1961 for his work as a writer on The Red Skelton Show.
Four years after the end of Gilligan’s Island, Schwartz created a family comedy about a lovely lady, a man named Brady, their combined six kids, a housekeeper and a dog that became television’s first blended family.
The series, which aired on ABC from 1969 to 1974, starred Robert Reed and Florence Henderson as Mike and Carol Brady. The Brady kids were played by Maureen McCormick, Barry Williams, Eve Plumb, Susan Olsen, Christopher Knight and Mike Lookinland. Ann B. Davis played Alice, the housekeeper.
In addition to his son Lloyd, Schwartz is survived by his wife, Mildred, two other sons, Dr. Donald Schwartz and Ross Schwartz, daughter Hope Juber, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.