Sherwood Schwartz

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Sherwood Schwartz
Sherwood Schwartz Star Ceremony.jpg
Schwartz receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2008)
Sherwood Charles Schwartz

(1916-11-14)November 14, 1916
DiedJuly 12, 2011(2011-07-12) (aged 94)
Resting place Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, California
OccupationTelevision producer, screenwriter
Years active1938–2011
Mildred Seidman(m. 1941)
ChildrenDonald (b. May 26, 1943)
Lloyd (b. May 2, 1946)
Ross Schwartz (b. August 9, 1949)
Hope Juber (b. 30 March 1956)

Sherwood Charles Schwartz ( /ʃwɔːrts/ ; November 14, 1916 – July 12, 2011) was an American television producer. He worked on radio shows in the 1940s, he is best known for creating the 1960s 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. [1] That same year, Schwartz was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. [2]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

A television producer is a person who oversees all aspects of video production on a television program. Some producers take more of an executive role, in that they conceive new programs and pitch them to the television networks, but upon acceptance they focus on business matters, such as budgets and contracts. Other producers are more involved with the day-to-day workings, participating in activities such as screenwriting, set design, casting and directing.

Executive producer (EP) is one of the top positions in the making of a commercial entertainment product. Depending on the medium, the executive producer may be concerned with management accounting or associated with legal issues. In films, the executive producer generally contributes to the film's budget and usually does not work on set, in contrast to most other producers.


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." [3]

Master of Science masters degree awarded for post-graduate study in the sciences, or occasionally social sciences

A Master of Science is a master's degree in the field of science awarded by universities in many countries or a person holding such a degree. In contrast to the Master of Arts degree, the Master of Science degree is typically granted for studies in sciences, engineering and medicine and is usually for programs that are more focused on scientific and mathematical subjects; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the humanities and social sciences. While it ultimately depends upon the specific program, earning a Master of Science degree typically includes writing a thesis.

Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, physiological mechanisms, development and evolution. Despite the complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation and extinction of species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis.

Bob Hope American comedian, actor, singer and dancer

Leslie Townes Hope, KBE, KC*SG, KSS, known professionally as Bob Hope, was a British-born American stand-up comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete, and author. With a career that spanned nearly 80 years, Hope appeared in more than 70 short and feature films, with 54 feature films with Hope as star, including a series of seven "Road" musical comedy movies with Bing Crosby as Hope's top-billed partner.

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.

Ozzie Nelson American actor, band leader, television producer and director

Oswald George Nelson was an American band leader, actor, director, and producer. He originated and starred in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, a radio and television series with his wife Harriet and two sons David and Ricky Nelson.

<i>The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet</i> American sitcom

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet is an American sitcom, which aired on ABC from October 3, 1952 through April 23, 1966, and starred the real-life Nelson family. After a long run on radio, the show was brought to television, where it continued its success, initially running simultaneously on radio and TV. The series starred the entertainment duo of Ozzie Nelson and his wife, singer Harriet Nelson, and their sons, David and Ricky. Don DeFore had a recurring role as the Nelsons' neighbor "Thorny".

<i>Gilligans Island</i> American television series

Gilligan's Island is an American sitcom created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz. The show was produced by comedian Phil Silvers' production company Gladasya Productions, in association with the CBS Television Network. The show had an ensemble cast that featured Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise, and Dawn Wells. It aired for three seasons on the CBS network from September 26, 1964, to April 17, 1967. The series followed the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempted to survive the island on which they had been shipwrecked. Most episodes revolve around the dissimilar castaways' conflicts and their unsuccessful attempts, for whose failure Gilligan was frequently responsible, to escape their plight.

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. [4]

TV appearances

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. [5] He was also a guest at the 2004 TV Land Awards.

<i>CBS Evening News</i> Evening news programme, broadcast on CBS News

CBS Evening News is the flagship evening television news program of CBS News, the news division of the CBS television network in the United States. The “CBS Evening News” is a daily evening broadcast featuring news reports, feature stories and interviews by CBS News correspondents and reporters covering events across world. The program has been broadcast since May 3, 1948 under the original title CBS Television News, eventually adopting its current title in 1963. The program is anchored by Jeff Glor. Previous anchors have included Douglas Edwards, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Connie Chung, Bob Schieffer, Katie Couric, Scott Pelley, and Anthony Mason.

Nick at Nite is an American programming block that broadcasts nightly over the channel space of Nickelodeon. It broadcasts usually from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m on weekdays, Saturdays from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., and Sundays from 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.. Its programming start time varies with holidays and special programming among the two networks.

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.

<i>Roseanne</i> American sitcom

Roseanne is an American television sitcom starring Roseanne Barr and revolving around the fictional Conner family. It aired on ABC from October 18, 1988, to May 20, 1997, and again from March 27, 2018 to May 22, 2018. Lauded for its realistic portrayal of a working-class American family, the series reached No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings from 1989 to 1990.

Personal life

Schwartz was born in Passaic, New Jersey, to a Jewish family. [6] 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. [7] Sherwood Schwartz is the uncle of Douglas Schwartz, Bruce Schwartz and Judithe Randall.

On 23 December 1941, Sherwood Schwartz married Mildred Seidman, and together they had four children: Donald Schwartz, who became an ophthalmologist; Lloyd J. Schwartz, who worked with his father and in show business; Ross Schwartz, who became an attorney; and Hope Juber, a writer and producer. His granddaughter is singer-songwriter Ilsey Juber, the daughter of Hope and guitarist Laurence Juber, the former lead guitarist for the band Wings.

Sherwood Schwartz'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.

Schwartz's name was also mentioned in Netflix's "Sandy Wexler" in a conversation between Adam Sandler and Jennifer Hudson.


On July 12, 2011, Sherwood Schwartz died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes. [8] 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 [ citation needed ]). He was also survived by nine grandchildren as well as five great-grandchildren. [9] He was buried at the Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California. [10]


Schwartz produced a number of radio and TV shows during his career.

The Bob Hope Show 1938–1942Writer for radio version
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet 1940sWriter for radio version
The Alan Young Show 1940sWriter for radio version
I Married Joan 1952–1955Writer
The Red Skelton Show 1956–1962Writer
My Favorite Martian 1963Script supervisor
Gilligan's Island 1964–1967Writer, creator, producer
It's About Time 1966–1967Writer, creator, producer
The Brady Bunch 1969–1974Writer, creator, producer
Dusty's Trail 1973–1974Writer, creator, producer
Big John, Little John 1976Producer
Harper Valley PTA 1981–1982Writer, producer
Together We Stand 1986–1987Writer, producer

Stage productions

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. [ citation needed ]

Unsold pilots

He wrote and executive produced two unsold television pilots:


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The second season of the American comedy television series Gilligan's Island commenced airing in the United States on September 16, 1965 and concluded on April 28, 1966 on CBS. The second season continues the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempt to survive and escape from an island on which they had been shipwrecked. Most episodes revolve around the dissimilar castaways' conflicts and their failed attempts—invariably Gilligan's fault—to escape their plight. The second season, unlike the first season, was filmed in color. The season originally aired on Thursdays at 8:00-8:30 pm (EST).

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  2. "Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List".
  3. "Sherwood Schwartz Dead at 94". Hollywood Hiccups. 2011-07-12.
  4. "'Gilligan's Island' & 'The Brady Bunch' Creator Dies". KHITS Chicago. July 13, 2011. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011.
  5. The Associated Press (2000-07-28). "Sitcom producers pick favorites for Nick at Nite 15th anniversary". CNN. Archived from the original on 2006-12-20. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
  6. Bloom, Nate (December 19, 2006). "The Jews Who Wrote Christmas Songs". Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  7. "Elroy Schwartz, TV writer, dies at 89". The Desert Sun . 2013-06-17. Archived from the original on 2013-07-06. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  8. "Sherwood Schwartz, creator of 'The Brady Bunch' and 'Gilligan's Island', dies at age 94". Washington Post. July 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  9. "'Gilligan's Island', 'Brady Bunch' creator Sherwood Schwartz Dies". USA Today. Retrieved 2011-07-12
  10. Sherwood Schwartz at Find a Grave