Rick Mittleman was a television writer and producer whose credits included dozens of the most popular series of the 1960s through the 1990s. Prolific in both comedy and drama, he received three Emmy nominations for his work.
Mittleman got his start in the early 1950s, during the era of live TV, as a producer of You Asked for It! On the program, host Art Baker would grant the requests of viewers who sent letters requesting things they wanted to see on television.
He received his first writing credit when joined the staff of The Red Skelton Hour. In 1963 he shared an Emmy nomination for his work on the show, and in the ensuing years he garnered two more — in 1971, for the comedy series Arnie, and for the variety series Van Dyke and Company in 1976.
Mittleman's other comedy series credits included The Dick Van Dyke Show, McHale’s Navy, The Donna Reed Show, Petticoat Junction, Bewitched, Gomer Pyle: USMC (for which he wrote 30 episodes), My World and Welcome to It, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Get Smart, The Doris Day Show, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, That Girl, The Odd Couple, Welcome Back, Kotter, Sanford and Son, M*A*S*H and What's Happening!!
In addition, he contributed to a number of dramas, including I Spy, Emergency!, CHiPs, Remington Steele, Matlock, MacGyver, Simon & Simon, Jake and the Fatman, The Paper Chase, Murder, She Wrote and Early Edition.
He was a producer on Arnie and Simon & Simon.
A longtime member of the Writers Guild of America, Mittleman served on the guild's board of directors and spent more than two decades on its Pension & Health board. He also spent many years on its Planning Committee. For his service to the organization, the WGA honored him with its Morgan Cox Awards in 1997.
Mittleman died July 30, 2014, in Los Angeles. He was 84.