TV comedy writer Myles Wilder dies

Penned episodes of 'McHale's Navy,' 'Dukes of Hazzard'

Myles Wilder, a prolific TV comedy writer and a nephew of writer-director Billy Wilder, died April 20 from complications of diverticulitis in Temecula, Calif. He was 77.

Myles Wilder, the son of 1950s film noir director W. Lee Wilder, wrote 28 episodes and was a two-time Emmy nominee for his work on the 1963-66 ABC series "McHale's Navy." He penned 26 episodes and produced CBS' "The Dukes of Hazzard," which ran from 1979-85, and wrote for such shows as "Wagon Train," "Bachelor Father," "The Lucy Show," "The Doris Day Show," "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," "My Three Sons," "The Brady Bunch," "Get Smart," "The Tim Conway Comedy Hour," "Love Boat" and "Diff'rent Strokes."

Wilder also worked for Disney developing movies and was in charge of daytime TV for the Hanna-Barbera Studios, where he oversaw the writing and production of "Inch High, Private Eye" and "Hong Kong Phooey," among other animated shows. He also wrote a novel, "Freeze," that was sold to Warner Bros.

W. Lee Wilder produced and directed such '50s sci-fi pics as "Killers From Space" (Myles provided the story) "The Snow Creature" and "The Man Without a Body." Billy Wilder, of course, collected seven Oscars for his work on such classics as "The Apartment" and "The Lost Weekend."

With Billy Wilder already in Hollywood, W. Lee Wilder moved his family from Long Island to Beverly Hills to pursue his dream of becoming a director.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Myles Wilder spent a year in London and later developed, wrote and produced the 1956 NBC series "The Adventures of Marco Polo."

Wilder retired from the entertainment industry in 1989 and five years later retired to Temecula, where he raised avocados.

Survivors include his wife, Bobbe; their daughter, Kimberly, and her husband Brynley; grandchildren Olivia and Morgan; and godson Matthew McGinnis.

A memorial will be held at the England Family Mortuary at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Temecula. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Friends for Pets Foundation in Sun Valley, Calif.
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