Bruce Toms, Reality Television Producer, Dies at 55
The Emmy nominee worked on such series as 'Road Rules,' 'Nanny 911,' 'Wife Swap' and 'Timber Creek Lodge.'
Bruce Toms, an Emmy-nominated executive producer on such reality TV shows as Road Rules, Nanny 911, Wife Swap and Secret Millionaire, has died. He was 55.
Toms, who was working on the Bravo reality program Timber Creek Lodge, died in Pasadena on Christmas Day, WME announced, citing natural causes. No other details were immediately available.
Toms in 2001 was nominated for an Emmy alongside Mary-Ellis Bunim, Jonathan Murray and Rick Telles for the MTV hit Road Rules. His other credits include Celebrity Wife Swap, The Judds, Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew, Paradise Hotel and Workout.
A native of Grand Rapids, Minn., Toms attended the University of Minnesota Duluth before moving to New York to pursue a career as an actor, and he starred in the national touring company production of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy.
In 1985, he joined the entertainment industry nonprofit Young Artists United, where he honed his social and political activism that would shape his creative vision.
"From the moment Bruce arrived in our lives, he infused YAU board meetings with wisdom, passion and integrity," YAU co-founder and producer Daniel Sladek said in a statement. "We were all in our early twenties and just beginning our careers, and his ability to transform ideas into action was matched by his electrifying charm. He definitely enhanced the lives of those who knew him."
Two years later, Toms joined fellow YAU board member Douglas Ross' reality production company Evolution Media, and they produced the antinuke documentary Change the World, shot on location in the Soviet Union. Ross called him "a visionary whose creativity was only matched by his compassion and activism to make the world a better place."
Toms exited Evolution in 1996 to become an independent director and producer, and he guided numerous productions for Fox, MTV, Bravo and OWN, among others.
He was represented by Mark Itkin (a client for more than 20 years) and Justin Ongert at WME.
Survivors include his mother, Carol; siblings Blake, Lisa, Brian, Cindy, Julie and Mark; and nieces Katie and Jenna.
A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. on Saturday at Bethel-Trinity Lutheran Church in Bovey, Minn. A life celebration will be held in the Los Angeles area at a later date.