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Sybil Trubin, Broadway Producer and Hollywood Business Exec, Dies at 88

Sybil Trubin Headshot - P 2014
Courtesy Everett Collection
Trubin at the 1955 Tony Awards.

She worked for George Schaefer (“Hallmark Hall of Fame”) and Quinn Martin (“Streets of San Francisco”) following stints as a producer on and off-Broadway.

Sybil Trubin, who worked as a business executive for television producers George Schaefer and Quinn Martin in an era when few women held such a post in Hollywood, has died. She was 88.

Trubin, who also produced plays for Broadway and off-Broadway, died Nov. 3 at her home in Santa Monica after a long bout with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Her family chose not to announce her death until Tuesday.

During the mid-1950s, Trubin began her long association with stage and TV director-producer Schaefer, who would go on to win five Emmy Awards. When he formed Compass Productions in 1959, Trubin came aboard as the company’s vp business affairs.

She worked there for more than a decade, first as a talent consultant or in charge of casting and then supervising all business matters for Compass, and she was instrumental in putting together more than 30 award-winning Hallmark Hall of Fame and other TV productions.

Trubin, meanwhile, produced Write Me a Murder, a 1961-62 Broadway mystery at the Belasco Theater that starred Kim Hunter and was directed by Schaefer.

STORY: Hallmark Hall of Fame Franchise Moves to ABC

After Compass shuttered, Trubin, starting in the late 1970s, became vp business affairs for Quinn Martin’s QM Productions. QM was one of the largest independent suppliers of TV drama series at the time, with a lineup that included The Streets of San Francisco starring Karl Malden and Michael Douglas and Barnaby Jones with Buddy Ebsen.

Trubin then served as a business executive for Lormar Productions before retiring in 1987. But at Schaefer’s request, she came back to supervise the clearance and arrange for the syndication and first home video release of 10 classic Hallmark Hall of Fame shows made during the Golden Age of Television.

Raised in Rye, N.Y., Trubin majored in political science at the University of Wisconsin and served as president of the university’s theatrical group, the Wisconsin Players.

She landed a job in 1947 as a gofer on the Broadway production of Brigadoon, where she met singer-actress Marion Bell and her composer husband, Alan Jay Lerner, who kept her employed.

After working as a talent agent and in the production office of renowned Shakespearean actor-producer Maurice Evans, Trubin in 1954 produced a season at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York’s Greenwich Village with her Proscenium Productions partners Robert Merriman and Warren Enters.

The trio received a special Tony Award for “generally high quality and viewpoint” demonstrated in their stagings of The Way of the World and Thieves Carnival.

Survivors include nieces and nephews Jennifer, Liz, Bruce, Peter, Bernie, Jan and Michael and their families.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4