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Joe Siegman, a producer who worked on the 1970s syndicated TV shows Celebrity Bowling and The Comedy Shop, has died. He was 86.
Siegman died Dec. 7 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia not related to COVID, his son Michael Siegman, a senior vp production on BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, told The Hollywood Reporter.
For almost 40 years, Siegman and ICM agent Jack Gilardi produced Hollywood Stars Night, the annual charity baseball game at Dodger Stadium that saw the likes of Dean Martin, Kevin Costner, Tom Selleck, Keanu Reeves and Billy Crystal suiting up for an entertaining exhibition game.
His 2014 coffee-table book, Bats, Balls & Hollywood Stars: Hollywood’s Love Affair With Baseball, is an homage to that event.
Siegman produced the Jed Allan-hosted Celebrity Bowling (not to be confused with the Chick Hearn-hosted Bowling for Dollars) from 1972-77. The success of the game show, taped at KTTV studios in Los Angeles, led to Siegman working on a similar show, Celebrity Tennis.
He then produced The Comedy Shop, hosted by Norm Crosby. One of the first live-taped entertainment shows for syndication, it featured performances from legends as well as up-and-coming stand-ups.
Born in Chicago on July 30, 1935, Siegman graduated from Sullivan High School and the University of Illinois before coming to Los Angeles.
In 1979, he founded the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame as a fund-raising vehicle for the U.S. Maccabiah Games team — he was a member of five of those teams from 1973-89 — and wrote books about iconic Jewish sportsmen and sportswomen.
He was elected to the Bowls USA Hall of Fame, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Survivors include his wife, Bobbie (they spent 60 years together); children Laurie and Michael; granddaughter Chloe; and sister Mindy Gaynor.
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