Roger Beatty, Emmy-Winning Writer on 'The Carol Burnett Show,' Dies at 87

Roger Beatty - H - 2020
Courtesy Beatty Family

He and Tim Conway penned the 1977 feature 'The Billion Dollar Hobo,' and he also worked on 'Mama's Family.'

Roger Beatty, who won five Emmy Awards for his work as a writer on The Carol Burnett Show, died April 6 at his home in Palm Desert, California, of prostate cancer, his family announced. He was 87.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in the neighborhood of Eagle Rock, Beatty served three years in the U.S. Coast Guard before beginning his show business career in 1956 on The Bing Crosby Show.

He worked his way through CBS Television City on The Red Skelton Show and The Danny Kaye Show before being hired as an associate director on The Carol Burnett Show in 1968 for the program's second season alongside Dave Powers, his childhood friend and a director.  

Beatty created his first sketch in 1969 for Burnett and shared Emmys with others on the writing staff in 1972, '73, '74 '75 and '78. He was nominated six others times for his work with the famed comedienne, the last in 1980 for Carol Burnett & Company.

After the Burnett program ended, Beatty wrote and directed episodes of the Vicki Lawrence-starring Mama's Family and The Tim Conway Show, featuring a pair of Burnett regulars. He also helmed Conway in several of his Dorf videos.

Beatty and Conway also co-wrote the feature The Billion Dollar Hobo (1977), starring Conway.

His last project was directing Conway and Burnett show star Harvey Korman in Together Again, a live stage show that played more than 500 times across the U.S.

Survivors include his brother, Darryl, soulmate Georgette, three daughters, a granddaughter and two great-granddaughters.

Because of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, a celebration of life will be held later.