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July 25, 2014

TV Comedy Writers Aaron Ruben, Barry Blitzer, Die

by Harley W. Lond, posted Feb 2nd 2010 7:01PM
Two veteran TV comedy writers died last week: Aaron Ruben, who worked on such shows as 'The Andy Griffith Show,' 'Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.' and 'Sanford and Son,' and Barry Blitzer, who wrote for such series as 'Get Smart' and 'The Flintstones.'

Ruben died Jan. 30 in Beverly Hills from complications of pneumonia, according to EW.com. He was 95. Blitzer died Jan. 27 in Santa Monica from complications after abdominal surgery. He was 80.Two veteran TV comedy writers died last week: Aaron Ruben, who worked on such shows as 'The Andy Griffith Show,' 'Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.' and 'Sanford and Son,' and Barry Blitzer, who wrote for such series as 'Get Smart' and 'The Flintstones.'

Ruben died Jan. 30 in Beverly Hills from complications of pneumonia, according to EW.com. He was 95. Blitzer died Jan. 27 in Santa Monica from complications after abdominal surgery. He was 80.

Ruben (pictured at right) first entered the industry as a writer for radio comedies and segued to TV comedies in the 1950s, writing for Milton Berle and Sid Caesar, and making his directorial debut on 'The Phil Silvers Show.' He wrote and produced 'The Andy Griffith Show' for five seasons in the 1960s and served as executive producer for 'Gomer Pyle' before working as one of the original producers of 'Sanford and Son' in the 1970s.

Ruben was a longtime advocate for troubled children and was awarded the Writers Guild's Valentine Davies award in 2003 for his volunteer work. He is survived by his wife, actress Maureen Arthur.

Blitzer's long career -- he was the last surviving member of the group of writers who shared a 1956 Best Comedy Writing Emmy for 'The Phil Silvers Show' (for the episode "You'll Never Get Rich"), according to Variety -- included writing stints on episodes of 'The Love Boat,' 'Land of the Lost,' 'The Jetsons,' 'Get Smart,' 'Too Close for Comfort,' 'McHale's Navy,' 'Good Times' and 'The Jetsons.'

Blitzer is survived by his wife, Elsie, a daughter and a sister.

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