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November 12, 2012

Henry Colman, Writer, Producer, Executive Known for The Love Boat and Much More

As a producer and executive, Colman worked on dozens of series and made-for-TV movies, including The Beverly Hillbillies and Hawaii Five-O.

Henry Colman, a writer, producer and executive known for his association with such television series as The Beverly Hillbillies, Hawaii Five-O and The Love Boat, died November 7, 2012. He was 89.

After military service and graduation from Columbia University, Colman worked briefly as an actor before before breaking into production in New York City during the era of live television. He worked on such shows as Kraft Television Theatre, Robert Montgomery Presents, The Colgate Comedy Hour and Navy Log.

In 1961 he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked on Dr. Kildare and Peyton Place before becoming an executive at CBS, where he worked on such shows as Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, Lucy and Hawaii Five-O.

In 1970, he became an executive at Paramount Studios, where his shows included The Odd Couple, Mannix and Love, American Style. In 1972, he began an executive role at Screen Gems.

Over the ensuing 20 years, such made-for-television movies as The Dead Don’t Die, The Rape of Doctor Willis, Parent Trap III, Body of Evidence and two Love Boat films that preceded the debut of the series in 1977.

He stayed with Love Boat as a series, and later worked on another ABC show, Hotel.

Later in his career, Colman conducted more than 30 interviews for the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television. His subjects included Aaron Spelling, Ernest Borgnine and George Carlin.

Upon his passing, the Writers Guild of America, West released the following on behalf of his family:

Henry Colman, best known as a producer of such television series as The Love Boat and Hotel, died of natural causes on November 7, 2012, in Venice, California, at the age of 89.

His long career began in live television on Robert Montgomery Presents and Kraft Television Theater. He followed the industry to Los Angeles in 1961, where he became an associate producer on Dr. Kildare and later Peyton Place. He then became an executive producer with CBS, supervising such shows as The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and Lucy. In the 1970s, Colman became vice president of current programming for Paramount Television, overseeing such programs as The Odd Couple and Love, American Style. He later held a similar position at Screen Gems Television.

During this career, he produced many made-for-television movies, including Who Is The Black Dahlia?, Body of Evidence, The Rape of Dr. Willis and Parent Trap III. A member of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) since 1964, Colman wrote several episodes for The Love Boat, Hotel and other TV series. Later in his career, he interviewed many industry notables for the archives of the Television Academy, including Aaron Spelling, Ernest Borgnine and George Carlin.

Born in 1923 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, he served in the Army Air Corps as a navigator on a B-29 during World War II. He earned a B.A. in Theater Arts from Columbia and spent summers acting with the Virginia Barter Theater Company.

He is survived by his wife, Donna Brainard, former vice president at Columbia/Sony, and his children, Cathy and Richard.

The Television Academy Foundation has established a memorial fund in Colman’s memory. Donations can be sent to The Archive of American Television, 5220 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood CA 91601

More about his life and work is available at:

Archive of American Television

Entertainment Weekly

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