Richard S. Kline, Emmy-Nominated Producer and Director of News and Game Shows, Dies at 79

Richard S. Kline - Publicity - P 2020

He made his name at Barry & Enright Productions before starting his own shingle, Kline & Friends.

Richard S. Kline, an Emmy-nominated producer and director of news and game shows, died Saturday in Connecticut following a long illness, his wife, Annabelle, tells The Hollywood Reporter. He was 79.

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Kline served in the U.S. Army reserves in the '60s before embarking on a career in television. He started at CBS in New York, working as a production supervisor on soap operas and CBS News broadcasts including coverage of Apollo 9 at Cape Canaveral with Walter Cronkite.

Kline left CBS to become associate producer on The Dick Cavett Show and Betty White's Pet Set and then a director, producer and eventually partner at Barry & Enright Productions, which specialized in game shows. There, throughout the '70s, he directed and/or produced a wide variety of programming, from The Joker's Wild and The New Tic Tac Dough to a live international broadcast of the presidential inauguration in 1981.

After the company's eponymous Jack Barry (and Joker's Wild host) died unexpectedly in 1984, Kline started his own shingle, Kline & Friends, which was behind Break the Bank, Strike It Rich, Win, Lose or Draw, The Marsha Warfield Show and Pictionary, among many other programs.

Along the way, Kline accrued six Daytime Emmy nominations: for Win, Lose or Draw, outstanding game/audience participation show and outstanding directing in a game or audience participation show in 1988 and 1989, and outstanding game/audience participation show in 1990; and for Pictionary, outstanding audience participation show/game show in 1998.

In addition to his wife, survivors include his 15 children, Staci, Jenifer, Kim, Beau, Jeremy, Jordan, Miguel, Korell, Samantha, Sasha, Logan, Cameron, Tatiana, Amy and Emily; his brother, Dr. Larry Kline; and numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews and in-laws.