Howard G. Malley, Emmy-Winning Producer on We Are the World Project, Dies at 72

Courtesy of Kristin Malley
Howard G. Malley (left) produced several TV specials starring Kenny Rogers.

He also worked on 'Jeopardy,' 'Pee-wee's Playhouse' and 'America's Funniest Home Videos.'

Howard G. Malley, who won an Emmy and a pair of MTV Music Awards for producing the video material for the charitable We Are the World project, has died. He was 72.

Malley died Thursday at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills after a battle with muscular dystrophy, daughter Kristin Malley told The Hollywood Reporter.

Malley also served as a unit manager on the first season of the game show Jeopardy in 1964; produced several specials starring Kenny Rogers; won a Daytime Emmy in 1980 for his work on the NBC kids special Hot Hero Sandwich; and was an executive in charge of production on Pee-wee's Playhouse and America's Funniest Home Videos.

For We Are the World in 1985 — which included a song, album, music video, documentary, book, etc. to raise money for African famine relief — Malley got every piece of equipment donated at no cost and convinced all the behind-the-scenes players to work for free.

In addition to his Emmy and MTV Awards, he received a triple Platinum record for his efforts.

Born on April 26, 1945, in Rochester, New York, Malley began his broadcasting career in 1963 working summers as a technical engineer at WOKR-TV in Rochester and then at WBZ-TV and WNAC-TV in Boston. He graduated from Emerson College in 1968.

As a unit manager at WNBC-TV in New York, Malley worked on local news programs and specials and on Jeopardy, hosted by Art Fleming and featuring announcer Don Pardo.

For the Today show during the 1972 election year, Malley supervised a crew that brought the morning program to the primaries and conventions. In 1975-76, he was in charge of 50 remotes — one from every state for segments that aired each Friday — as he spent an entire year on the road.

In 1977, Bob Bardo, head of unit managers at ABC in Hollywood, brought Malley to Los Angeles. He worked on the American Music Awards, the 50th Academy Awards in 1978 and other specials before leaving to become a line producer, frequently collaborating with director Jeff Margolis.

After more than 40 years in the industry, Malley retired in 2006 after being diagnosed with MS.

His daughter Kristin is vp development and production at Start Entertainment and a producer on the game shows Deal or No Deal and Celebrity Name Game.

Survivors also include his wife of 30 years, April Grebb Malley, who also worked on Pee-wee's Playhouse; daughters Lauren and Emily; son Corey; son-in-law Brian; and granddaughter Natalie.