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Donald A. Ramsey, who worked on kids shows from Sid and Marty Krofft and served as an associate producer on the landmark 1977 miniseries Roots, has died. He was 86.
Ramsey died Dec. 30 in Santa Barbara of complications from congestive heart failure, his life companion, Wade Hansen, announced.
Starting in 1969, Ramsey was a production coordinator, associate producer and associate director on the Kroffts’ shows H.R. Pufnstuf, The Bugaloos and Lidsville, respectively. He also wrote a 1973 episode of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, another series produced by the brothers.
Ramsey later was an associate producer on the 1976 telefilm Brenda Starr, starring Jill St. John as the glamorous reporter from the comic books, and on two episodes of 1977’s Roots. (Both ABC projects were produced by David L. Wolper.)
He was a member of the DGA and WGA.
Born in Seattle on April 17, 1935, Donald Allen Ramsey Jr. graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, then served for five years in the U.S. Navy.
He moved to Santa Barbara with Hansen in 1987 and seven years later earned a B.S. in landscape architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, receiving honors from the American Society of Landscape Architects for his work.
Ramsey’s designs for bold-faced clients were featured in Architectural Digest, and he was part of the team that designed Seaside Gardens, a botanical wonderland on three acres in Carpinteria.
“Donald lived a heroic life not fearing any new goal,” Hansen said. “He was truly a renaissance man with love for his friends and family. He was a fun guy, always ready to enjoy life and nature’s beauty.”
In addition to Hansen, survivors include nieces, nephews and Emmy-winning actress Sharon Gless, a longtime close friend.
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