Ed Flesh, Designer of Wheel of Fortune and Other Top Game Shows, Passes
In addition to his work on numerous game shows, Flesh designed talk shows and the daytime drama Days of Our Lives.
Ed Flesh, an art director for numerous iconic game shows and the designer of the multi-colored wheel on Wheel of Fortune, died July 15, 2011, at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California. He was 79.
According to news reports, the cause was congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
"Ed Flesh was one of the first designers whose career grew up from the beginning of entertainment television," said Television Academy chairman John Shaffner. "He was a television pioneer and enjoyed the chaotic growth of our medium from its first days. He left a visual mark on our industry that resonates to today."
For Wheel of Fortune, Flesh devised the wheel to spin horizontally rather than vertically.
He also designed sets for David Letterman’s first daytime talk show on NBC daytime, for The Montel Williams Show and for Oprah Winfrey Show specials featuring Barbra Streisand, Madonna and John Travolta.
Flesh’s other game show credits included Second Chance, Press Your Luck, Celebrity Sweepstakes, 50 Grand Slam, To Say the Least and The New Newlywed Game.
In 1993, Flesh was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his final design, the set of a Lifetime channel version of the game show Supermarket Sweep.
Born December 4, 1931, in Philadelphia, Flesh graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, then earned a master's degree scenic design at the Yale Drama School. He later moved to New York, where he designed off-Broadway productions and became supervisor of scenic design at NBC.
After relocating to southern California, Flesh continued to work at NBC as the senior art director on the daytime drama Days of Our Lives, as well as several game shows.
He is survived by his partner of 44 years, David Powers.