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Jerry McNeely

  • Birthplace: Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Birthday: June 20
Date of passing: 
July 14, 2014

Obituary

Obituary: 

Jerry McNeely was an Emmy-nominated writer and producer who wrote for dozens of popular series and created several others. He also wrote several acclaimed made-for-television movies.

Born in Missouri, McNeely graduated with a B.A. from Southeast Missouri State College. He then moved on to the University of Wisconsin, where he received his master's and — following Army service during the Korean War — a Ph.D. in speech.

In 1956 he joined the University of Wisconsin faculty and eventually became a full professor. During that time, he also produced and directed productions with the Wisconsin Players.

Jerry McNeely was an Emmy-nominated writer and producer who wrote for dozens of popular series and created several others. He also wrote several acclaimed made-for-television movies.

Born in Missouri, McNeely graduated with a B.A. from Southeast Missouri State College. He then moved on to the University of Wisconsin, where he received his master's and — following Army service during the Korean War — a Ph.D. in speech.

In 1956 he joined the University of Wisconsin faculty and eventually became a full professor. During that time, he also produced and directed productions with the Wisconsin Players.

McNeely broke into television while teaching, when he wrote the teleplay The Staring Match for the anthology series Studio One in 1957. He then won a contest with his script The Joke and the Valley, which was produced by the Hallmark Hall of Fame in 1961.

Rather than abandoning academia, McNeely remained on the Wisconsin faculty throughout the 1960s, during which time he wrote many TV projects. He eventually left the university in 1975 and moved to California to pursue television full time.

His long list of writing credits included episodes of The Twilight Zone, Mr. Novak, The Virginian, Dr. Kildare, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Ironside, The Name of the Game and Marcus Welby, M.D.The Streets of San Francisco and McMillan and Wife.

In addition, he created and wrote episodes of the legal drama Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law, which aired on ABC from 1971-74; Lucas Tanner, a drama about a high school teacher that ran on NBC in 1974-75; and the family drama Three for the Road, which aired on CBS in 1975.

McNeely received Emmy and Humanitas Award nominations for writing the 1977 TV movie Something for Joey, based on the true story of Heisman Trophy winner and Penn State running back John Cappelletti and his younger brother, who had leukemia.

In the 1980s, he developed and produced the medical drama Trauma Center and the family drama Our House.

McNeely died July 14, 2014, in Tarzana, California. He was 86.

 
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AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

1 Nomination No Emmys