TV writer and producer, Tom Whedon, father of TV and screenwriter Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Angel, Firefly, Marvel’s The Avengers), musician and writer Jed Whedon (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), and writer Zack Whedon (Deadwood, Halt and Catch Fire), died on March 23, 2016, at the age of 83. Jed announced the news late yesterday, on Instagram.
A producer on It’s a Living, Benson, Maggie, The Golden Girls, and The Sinbad Show , Mr. Whedon’s TV series writing credits includes those shows and many more. His professional career began on the Captain Kangaroo TV show, in the 1950s. Other TV credits include Music Scene, The Dick Cavett Show, The Electric Company (on which he was head writer), All’s Fair, United States, The Two of Us, and the children’s series, Between the Lions, for which he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy.
Whedon was the son of TV writer John Whedon, whose storied career during television’s early days, includes Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Donna Reed Show.
Born Thomas Avery Whedon on August 3, 1932, to screenwriter John and his wife Louise Carroll (Angell) Whedon, Tom’s first wife was activist Ann Lee (née Jeffries) Stearns. Together they had son Joss, in 1964.
In that same year, he collaborated with Jon Stone, and a then-unknown Muppets-creator, Jim Henson, on the ABC‘s Hey, Cinderella! TV special. Per THR, along with Stone, Whedon created the beloved Sesame Street characters, Cookie Monster and Big Bird.
After their divorce, Mr. Whedon remarried. His second wife, Pam (Webber) is the mother of his younger sons, including Jed (1974) and Zack (1979).
Following, are Jed Whedon’s Instagram posts regarding his father, Tom Whedon, and his passing.
Along with his famous father John, and sons Joss, Jed, and Zack, Tom Whedon and family form a significant dynasty in the world of television entertainment. In 1973, while Whedon was head writer, The Electric Company TV show won a primetime Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Children’s Programming – Entertainment/Fictional. In 1974, when Whedon was still head writer, the show was nominated in the same category.
In addition to his wife, Pam, and three sons mentioned above, Tom Whedon leaves behind his sons Samuel and Matthew Whedon, and his grandchildren. May he rest in peace.
We invite you to share your memories of Mr. Whedon, his prolific family, and their work, below.