Obit: Abby Singer

TV production veteran Abby Singer has died.

Singer worked as production manager on such classic TV shows as The Bob Newhart Show, The Doris Day Show, It Takes A Thief, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Phyllis, Rhoda and The Virginian.

Singer had previously worked as assistant director on a number of shows including The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, The Jack Benny Program, Tales of Wells Fargo and Wagon Train. He is also credited with creating a time-saving production technique termed “The Abby Singer Shot”:

The 96-year-old Singer passed away this morning in California.

Classic TV Birthdays: March 13

Former child actress Kathy Hilton turns 55 today. Hilton guested on Family Affair, Happy Days and The Rockford Files. She’s also the mom of reality star Paris Hilton and the half-sister of actresses Kim and Kyle Richards.

Also on the birthday list: Dana Delany (appeared on daytime drama Love of Life, later starred on China Beach and Desperate Housewives) is 58, Robin Duke (SCTV, Saturday Night Live) turns 60, Robert S. Woods (recurring role on The Waltons, regular on One Life to Live from 1979-2013) is 66 and Neil Sedaka is 75. The singer-songwriter guested on numerous classic variety and talk shows, including The Carol Burnett Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.

Others celebrating a March 13 birthday: Lesley Parrish (79) and Joseph Mascolo (85). Parrish appeared on many classic shows of the 1960s and 70s, among them Adam-12, Batman, Love American Style, Mannix, Perry Mason and Star Trek. Mascolo guested on All in the Family, Baretta and Kojak. He was also a regular on the 1975 Jack Palance series Bronk and has been in the cast of daytime soap Days of Our Lives since 1982.

Today was also the birthday of several since-passed classic TV faces. Peter Breck was a regular on The Big Valley and Maverick. Big band leader Sammy Kaye guested on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Merv Griffin Show.

Several classic TV favorites passed away March 13. Peter Tomarken appeared on Medical Center and The Rockford Files. He is best known as the host of the 1980s game show Press Your Luck. Maureen Stapleton (no relation to Jean) guested on such classic shows as Car 54 Where Are You?, Naked City and Studio One. She later appeared in a number of films, including Airport, Cocoon and The Money Pit.

Veteran character actor Malachi Throne also died this day. He co-starred in the Robert Wagner series It Takes A Thief and guested on a long list of classic TV shows. That list includes Batman (he was villain False Face), Ben Casey, The Big Valley, Hawaii Five-0, Kojak, Lost in Space, Mr. Novak, The Six Million Dollar Man, Star Trek and The Untouchables.


Obit: Richard Coogan

Captain Video is dead.

Actor Richard Coogan starred in the early television series Captain Video and His Video Rangers. The series aired live nightly from 1949-55 on the long-defunct DuMont Network. Coogan actually quit the show at the end of 1950 and was replaced by Al Hodge, who had previously played The Green Hornet on radio.

Coogan went on to star in daytime drama Love of Life and primtetime western The Californians. He also guested on such classic shows as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Laramie and Perry Mason.

Coogan died Wednesday in California. He would have turned 100 on April 4.