• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

TV Comedy Writer Jack Elinson Dies

Scribe worked on such shows as “The Real McCoys,” “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Good Times” during his half-century in show business.

Jack Elinson, who wrote for such TV sitcoms as The Real McCoys, The Andy Griffith Show and Good Times during a prolific 50-year career, died Nov. 17 of natural causes at his home in Santa Monica. He was 89.

In 1961, Elinson received an Emmy nomination (shared with Charles Stewart) for his work on Make Room for Daddy (aka The Danny Thomas Show). He served as an executive producer or producer on many of the hit shows for which he wrote.

Elinson provided jokes for Walter Winchell’s newspaper column and wrote for radio before entering the new medium of television in the early 1950s, when he worked on such shows as The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Jimmy Durante Show and The Johnny Carson Show.

Later, he wrote 25 episodes of The Real McCoys, which starred Walter Brennan and Richard Crenna, 27 episodes of Danny Thomas starrer Make Room for Daddy, 34 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and 28 episodes of The Doris Day Show.

Elinson wrote for and produced the sitcoms Good Times and One Day at Time; developed the series 227, which starred Marla Gibbs and Helen Martin; and served as an executive producer on The Facts of Life.

Elinson was a member of the WGA West since 1948 and served on several guild committees.

Survivors include children Michael, David, Robbie and Ethel; his second wife, Estelle, and her children Marcy, Claudia and Valerie; and 12 grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Elinson’s name to OPICA Daycare and/or Skirball Hospice, both of Los Angeles County.