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August 29, 2012

Norman Felton, Producer of Dr. Kildare, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Much More

The U.K. native became a Hollywood force with a long list of popular series and made-for-TV movies.

Julia Waldow

Norman Felton, the co-creator and producer of 1960s TV shows including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Dr. Kildare, died of natural causes on June 25, 2012 in Santa Barbara, California. He was 99.

While serving as the president and CEO of MGM Television-based Arena Production, Felton co-created U.N.C.L.E., an NBC spy drama that ran from 1964-68. During production, Felton received a Primetime Emmy nomination for the series.

In addition to U.N.C.L.E., Felton was the executive producer for the spinoff The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and 190 episodes of NBC’s Dr. Kildare. The show, which ran from 1961-66, initially began as a film series in the 1930s.

Felton also produced series including Hawkins, Studio One in Hollywood, Pursuit, The Eleventh Hour, Lieutenant, Strange Report and Executive Suite. He wrote and directed the series Robert Montgomery Presents.

In addition to his work on TV series, Felton produced telefilms including Marriage: Year One (1971), which starred Sally Field, and Babe (1975), which starred Susan Clark and earned Felton an Emmy nomination.

Born April 29, 1913 in London, Felton arrived in the United States as a teenager. He earned a bachelor of fine arts degree and a master’s degree in theater arts at the University of Iowa. He worked at NBC Radio and NBC Television from 1944-50.

In 1997, Felton received an Honorary Lifetime Membership Award from the Producers Guild of America.

Felton is survived by his children Julie and John, grandchildren Kevin and Yohan, great-grandson Eytan and friend Denise Aubuchon. The family asks that donations be made to Doctors Without Borders or the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Television Academy Foundation's Archive of American Television interviewed Felton in 1997.

His full interview is available here.

A writeup with a video clip is posted on the EmmyTVLegends blog here.

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