Norman Felton, Co-Creator of 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,' Dies at 99

Norman Felton Obit - P 2012
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Norman Felton Obit - P 2012

He served as executive producer of TV’s "Dr. Kildare" and other series and telefilms starring the likes of Jimmy Stewart and Sally Field.

Norman Felton, the co-creator of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. who also served as an executive producer on the TV version of Dr. Kildare, died June 25 in Santa Barbara. He was 99.

As president and CEO of MGM Television-based Arena Productions, Felton, with Sam Rolfe, created the spy drama U.N.C.L.E. For the NBC series, which starred Robert Vaughn and David McCallum and ran from 1964-68, Felton approached and received input from novelist Ian Fleming, who created the James Bond character.

Felton also executive produced the short-lived spinoff The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., starring Stefanie Powers.

The London native executive produced all 190 episodes of NBC’s Dr. Kildare, which starred Richard Chamberlain and aired from 1961-66. Kildare began as a series of films in the 1930s before heading to radio and then television.

Felton also produced Hawkins, a 1973 legal drama starring Jimmy Stewart, and other series including Studio One in Hollywood, Pursuit, The Eleventh Hour, The Lieutenant (also starring Vaughn), Strange Report and Executive Suite.

His telefilm credits include 1971’s Marriage: Year One, starring Sally Field, and 1975’s Babe, a biopic starring Susan Clark as the legendary track star and golfer Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

Felton also wrote and directed for the 1950s series Robert Montgomery Presents.

Felton emigrated to the U.S. with his family as a teenager, then attended the University of Iowa, where he received a masters in theatre arts. He worked at NBC Radio and then NBC Television from 1944-50.

Felton received an Honorary Lifetime Membership Award from the Producers Guild of America in 1997.

Survivors include his children Julie and John, grandchildren Kevin and Yohan, great-grandson Eytan and companion Denise Aubuchon. The family asks that a donation be made to Doctors Without Borders or the American Civil Liberties Union.