Barbara Dunn-Leonard, Longtime Exec at Ralph Edwards Productions, Dies at 60

Barbara Dunn Leonard - Publicity - P 2017
Courtesy of Vicki Greenleaf and Associates

She spent 26 years at the company, most recently as president, before her retirement in 2009.

Barbara Dunn-Leonard, who spent 26 years as an executive at Ralph Edwards Productions, has died. She was 60.

Dunn-Leonard died unexpectedly in her sleep from natural causes on Nov. 9 in her home in Riverside, California, publicist Vicki Greenleaf announced.

During her tenure at Ralph Edwards Productions from 1983 until her retirement in 2009, Dunn-Leonard served in a variety of positions, most recently as president. She directed development of programming and marketing, produced live events and TV shows and managed the company's historic and expansive library.

Dunn-Leonard served as co-executive producer of a series of This Is Your Life television specials for NBC and This Is Your Life: The Classics, 52 episodes reprised for AMC.

She also was co-executive producer/producer of the 1997 animated telefilm Annabelle’s Wish, which drew nearly 15 million viewers to its debut on Fox, sold more than 2 million home video units and raised more than $1.7 million for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of America.

From 2000-07, Dunn-Leonard established and oversaw WishWorks, created to support the activation of the General Motors/United Auto Workers' national sponsorship of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, then the largest in its history. The campaign brought in more than $27 million, enough to grant 10,000-plus wishes for children.

A longtime member of Women in Film, Dunn-Leonard established and managed GM's sponsorship of the organization in 2005-07 and helped launch such WIF initiatives as the Latina Filmmakers Grant.

After graduating from USC, Dunn-Leonard began her entertainment career as a booker and agent for live venues representing Knott's Berry Farm and artists such as Alabama, John Denver, Dan Fogelberg and Dick Clark's Good Ol' Rock 'n' Roll Show.

Survivors include her children Katie and Jeff.

A service will be held at 2 p.m. on Dec. 17 at Acheson and Graham Garden of Prayer Mortuary in Riverside, California, to be followed by a celebration of life at 5 p.m. at the Mission Inn Hotel.