In Hollywood, most people consider themselves lucky to have one show get on the air. A veteran producer and writer, Sherwood Schwartz created several TV series. Two of them — Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch — were moderate successes in their original runs but later became two of the most beloved sitcoms in television history. Schwartz died in his sleep early this morning at the age of 94.
Born in 1916 in Passaic, New Jersey, Sherwood Charles Schwartz grew up in Brooklyn and was a pre-med student at New York University. He earned a bachelor’s degree and moved to Los Angeles. While waiting to be accepted at medical school, he asked his brother Albert, who worked on Bob Hope’s radio show, if he could try writing a few jokes. Hope liked his work and offered him a job so he decided to help people feel better with laughter, rather than medicine.
Schwartz used to joke that Hope would send him, as the youngest man on the team, out for ice cream fudge sundaes. When Schwartz returned from a stint in World War II, he stopped by the writer’s room. Without missing a beat, Hope commented that it had taken him a long time to get the sundae this time.