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Jane Milmore, who co-created the Don Rickles-Richard Lewis sitcom Daddy Dearest and wrote and produced for such shows as Martin, The Wayans Bros. and The Hughleys, has died. She was 64.
Milmore died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a 15-month battle with pancreatic cancer, a publicist announced.
She and Billy Van Zandt were writing partners of 46 years; in addition to creating Fox’s Daddy Dearest, which lasted just a handful of episodes in 1993, they worked on Martin, The Wayans Bros., The Hughleys, Anything But Love, Suddenly Susan, Yes, Dear, Center of the Universe and other shows.
The pair also collaborated on 23 plays, including Love, Sex and the I.R.S. and the off-Broadway comedies You’ve Got Hate Mail, Drop Dead! and The Boomer Boys Musical. The New York Times once called the duo “masters of modern farce.”
They shared an Emmy nomination for outstanding informational special in 1990 for writing the CBS special I Love Lucy: The Very First Show and People’s Choice, Image and Prism awards for their work on Martin and The Hughleys.
Milmore, who started her career as an actress and appeared on several of her sitcoms, also served as a story editor on Newhart with Van Zandt starting in 1988.
Born on March 25, 1955, in Laramie, Wyoming, Milmore spent her childhood years in Brooklyn and graduated from Keansburg (New Jersey) High School.
She and Van Zandt — they met during a high school drama competition — often debuted their plays at the Van Zandt/Milmore Unofficial Rep Company in the Garden State. A scholarship in their name has given more than 20 students a theater education at Brookdale Community College in Middletown, New Jersey.
They also wrote and co-starred in the 1999 feature A Wake in Providence.
Survivors include her life partner, Daytime Emmy-winning director Shelley Jensen; sisters Maureen, Janet, Kathleen and Jennifer; brothers-in-law Scott and Greg; nephews John, Ryan, Riley, Jack and Harry; and godsons Walker and William.
Celebrations of Milmore’s life will be held in Los Angeles and in New Jersey in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name can be made to some of her favorite organizations: Clean Ocean Action, the American Red Cross, Holiday Express, Planned Parenthood and the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.
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