Great Britain

Gene Reynolds dead – Co-creator of M*A*S*H and Lou Grant passes away at 96

Co-creator of M*A*S*H and Lou Grant, Gene Reynolds, has passed away aged 96.

The six-time Emmy Award winner passed away in Burbank at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Centre.

Reynolds was born April 4, 1923 in Cleveland, and raised in Detroit until his family relocated to Los Angeles in 1934, where he started his career as a child actor age 11, staring in the Laurel & Hardy film March of the Wooden Soldiers.

He later became a real soldier and fought in World War II.

Reynolds was an actor from childhood right up to the '50s, when he took the step behind the lens to production, writing and directing.

He wrote everything from westerns to comedies. His projects include his writing debut in 1957, Tales of Wells Fargo. He went on to direct and be involved in Leave It to Beaver, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Andy Griffith Show, Father of the Bride, The Munsters and more than 70- half-hours of My Three Sons; as well as 60's classics like Hogan’s Heroes, F Troop, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

However he is best known for his co-creation in cult classic series M*A*S*H, a dramedy set in the Korean War, along with Larry Gelbart, and being at the helm of as director, writer and producer of 100s of episodes of shows like Room 222 and Lou Grant.

The 2.5-hour M*A*S*H series finale in February 1983 remains the most-watched episode of series television in history, with more than 105 million viewers and a still-stunning 60.2 rating/77 share, surpassing viewing figures normally reserved for the Super Bowl.

In the '90s he directed or was credited in In the Heat of the Night, Promised Land, Blossom, and Touched by an Angel.

He was the Directors Guild of America's president 1993-97.

In a 2000 Interview with TV Academy Foundation he said he had a penchant for "the little humane touch - something that is real" for his beloved comedies and dramas.

He is survived by his wife Ann and son Andrew Reynolds.

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