|Intro||American television writer and producer|
|A.K.A.||Sherwood Charles Schwartz|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||14 November 1916, Passaic City, New Jersey, Passaic County, New Jersey, New Jersey, U.S.A.|
|Death||12 July 2011, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A. (aged 94 years)|
Sherwood Charles Schwartz (November 14, 1916 – July 12, 2011) was an American television producer. He worked on radio shows in the 1940s, and created the television series Gilligan's Island on CBS and The Brady Bunch on ABC. On March 7, 2008, Schwartz, at the time still active in his 90s, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, Schwartz was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
Life and career
Schwartz's entertainment career came "by accident". He relocated from New York to southern California to pursue a Master of Science degree in Biology. In need of employment, he began writing jokes for Bob Hope's radio program, for which Schwartz's brother, Al Schwartz, worked. Schwartz recalled that Hope "liked my jokes, used them on his show and got big laughs. Then he asked me to join his writing staff. I was faced with a major decision—writing comedy or starving to death while I cured those diseases. I made a quick career change."
He went on to write for Ozzie Nelson's The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and other radio shows. Schwartz was a writer on the Armed Forces Radio Network before he got his break in television. He went on to create and produce Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch. He wrote the theme song for three of his shows: Gilligan's Island (co-wrote), It's About Time, and The Brady Bunch.
Syndication turned his two major successes into TV institutions with cultural relevance. He made them icons, and as a result he became a television icon.
During the late 1990s and the 2000s, he made many appearances on TV talking about his series, on shows such as the CBS Evening News, 20/20, TV Land's Top Ten and A&E's Biography. He also took part in a "Creators" marathon on Nick at Nite in the late 1990s. He was also a guest at the 2004 TV Land Awards.
In 1988, Schwartz appeared on The Late Show with Ross Shafer for a Gilligan's Island reunion, along with all seven castaways from Gilligan's Island. This was the last time they were all together on television. He also appeared as himself in a 1995 episode of Roseanne titled "Sherwood Schwartz, A Loving Tribute", which also featured the four surviving "Gilligan's Island" cast members.
Schwartz was born in Passaic, New Jersey to a Jewish family. His parents were Herman and Rose Schwartz. He was a younger brother of writer Al Schwartz. His younger brother, Elroy Schwartz (1923-2013), a comedy writer, became a principal screenwriter for Gilligan's Island and other series. Sherwood Schwartz is the uncle of Douglas Schwartz, Bruce Schwartz and Judithe Randall.
On 23 December 1941 he married his wife of 69 years Mildred and together they had four children (3 sons and 1 daughter): Donald, who became an ophthalmologist, Lloyd, who worked with his father and in show business, Ross, who became an attorney, and Hope Juber, a writer/producer. Sherwood's play, Rockers, a comedy-drama had a production at Theatre West in honor of his 90th birthday.
Pop culture references
On a Robin Hood-themed episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, a character states that Sherwood Forest is a relative of Sherwood Schwartz. Also, a Roseanne episode was entirely devoted to Gilligan's Island and was titled "Sherwood Schwartz: A Loving Tribute".
In Raising Hope, Sherwood is indirectly mentioned during the opening scene of the second season as someone who "started each day with a song that perfectly recapped what was going on". Then she points to an empty chair with a Gilligan-type sailor cap on it. During the episode, the main character, Jimmy, loses his memory and his doctor advises him that unlike a sitcom, memory can't be regained by hitting someone on the head again and uses an episode of Gilligan's Island to illustrate the point.
In the A.N.T. Farm episode "America Needs TalANT," Olive Doyle and Paisley Houndstooth become contestants on a game show named "The Brainy Bunch" (hosted by Barry Williams) and Paisley keeps pressing the buzzer with goofy answers. When Olive demands that Paisley stop pushing the button, the next topic turns out to be related to cosmetology, which the usually dimwitted Paisley has genuine knowledge about. Olive's reaction is to blurt out "Sherwood Schwartz" in frustration.
Schwartz was portrayed by Aaron Lustig in the TV movie Surviving Gilligan's Island and by Michael Tucker in Growing Up Brady.
On July 12, 2011, Sherwood Schwartz died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes. He was survived by his wife, Mildred Schwartz and their four children: Donald, Lloyd (the creator of The Munsters Today), Ross, and Hope (wife of Laurence Juber; reportedly named after Bob Hope). He was also survived by nine grandchildren as well as five great-grandchildren. He was buried at the Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California.
Schwartz produced a number of radio and TV shows during his career.
|The Bob Hope Show||1938–1942||Writer for radio version|
|The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet||1940s||Writer for radio version|
|The Alan Young Show||1940s||Writer for radio version|
|I Married Joan||1952–1955||Writer|
|The Red Skelton Show||1956–1962||Writer|
|My Favorite Martian||1963||Script supervisor|
|Gilligan's Island||1964–1967||Writer, creator, producer|
|It's About Time||1966–1967||Writer, creator, producer|
|The Brady Bunch||1969–1974||Writer, creator, producer|
|Dusty's Trail||1973–1974||Writer, creator, producer|
|Big John, Little John||1976||Producer|
|Harper Valley PTA||1981–1982||Writer, producer|
|Together We Stand||1986–1987||Writer, producer|
On November 10, 2006, his play Rockers opened in Theater West in California. In 1990, he wrote Gilligan's Island: The Musical, still in production as of 2011. His son Lloyd, daughter Hope, and son-in-law Laurence Juber worked on the play as well.
He wrote and executive produced two unsold television pilots:
- Scamps (1982) — starring Bob Denver, Dreama Denver, and Joey Lawrence
- The Invisible Woman (1983) — starring Bob Denver, George Gobel, and Harvey Korman
- Won the 1961 Emmy Award for his writing on The Red Skelton Show.
- Was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his 2004 special Still Brady After All These Years
- On March 7, 2008, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Actresses Dawn Wells and Florence Henderson, who appeared in Gilligan's Island and The Brady Bunch, respectively, accompanied Schwartz when he received his star. Also present was Patrick Denver, son of actor Bob Denver from Gilligan's Island, and Christopher Knight and Susan Olsen, the child stars of The Brady Bunch.
- Was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2008.
"It's one world, and we all have to learn to live with each other."