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Writer-producer-director Leonard Stern dies at 87

Writer-producer-director Leonard Stern dies at 87

June 9th, 2011 by FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer in News

NEW YORK (AP) - Leonard Stern, a prolific writer-producer-director whose credits include "The Honeymooners," "Get Smart," and "McMillan and Wife," died Tuesday. He was 87.

Stern died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said his spokesman, Dale Olson.

A native of New York City, Stern found early success in TV writing for Jackie Gleason in "The Honeymooners" as well as the classic 1950s sitcom "The Phil Silvers Show" and "The Steve Allen Show."

In the 1960s he produced the spy satire "Get Smart," and in the 1970s wrote, directed and produced "McMillan and Wife," the lighthearted crime drama starring Rock Hudson.

Film credits included screenplays for the 1952 version of "The Jazz Singer" starring Danny Thomas, as well as a pair of Abbott and Costello comedies. Three decades later, he wrote and directed "Just You and Me, Kid," starring George Burns and 14-year-old Brooke Shields. In 1985, he wrote the script for the action-thriller "Target," starring Gene Hackman and directed by Arthur Penn.

Stern was also involved in publishing, including the word game Mad Libs, which he co-created.

During his career he won three Emmy awards, two Golden Globes and a Peabody award.

Stern is survived by his wife of 55 years, actress Gloria Stroock, as well as a son, Michael Stern, a daughter, Kate Stern, two grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

Funeral services were scheduled Friday at Mt. Sinai.