Rick Mittleman, Emmy-Nominated Writer, Dies at 84

Rick Mittleman Headshot - P 2014
Courtesy Mittleman Family

Rick Mittleman Headshot - P 2014

UPDATED: The veteran scribe worked on such series as "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Odd Couple" and "Gomer Pyle: USMC" during his five-decade career.

Rick Mittleman, a three-time Emmy Award nominee who wrote for such classic comedies as The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle: USMC, The FlintstonesM*A*S*H and The Odd Couple, has died. He was 84.

Mittleman, whose entertainment career spanned five decades, was involved in a traffic accident and died July 30 in the Hancock Park section of Los Angeles, a family spokesman said.

Mittleman wrote for such comedies as The Mary Tyler Moore Show (the 1972 episode in which Murray, played by Gavin MacLeod, is moonlighting to make extra money for an anniversary gift, but Mary thinks he’s cheating on his wife), , Get Smart, Bewitched, McHale’s Navy, The Donna Reed Show, Petticoat Junction, The Doris Day Show, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, That Girl, Welcome Back, Kotter and Sanford and Son, to name just a few.

He wrote 30 episodes of the CBS hit Gomer Pyle, which starred Jim Nabors.

Mittleman also penned installments of such hourlong series as I Spy, Emergency!, CHiPs, Remington Steele, Matlock, MacGyver, Simon & Simon and Murder, She Wrote.

His Emmy noms came in 1963 for writing on The Red Skelton Show; in 1971 for Arnie, a CBS comedy starring Herschel Bernardi and Sue Ann Langdon; and in 1976 for the NBC sketch comedy special Van Dyke and Company.

Earlier, Mittleman was a producer on the 1950s popular live show You Asked for It in which viewers would write in requesting things they wanted to see on TV, like a knife-thrower or a reunion of the Our Gang kids of the movies.

Mittleman served on the WGA’s board of directors for many years and in 1997 received the guild’s prestigious Morgan Cox Award.  

Survivors include his wife Arlene, children Todd, Rachel and Dana and grandchildren Leah, Will, Isaac and Mia.

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