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John H. Ward, an associate producer on the 1980s sitcom Charles in Charge, starring Scott Baio, died May 11 after a long illness at a convalescent hospital in Corona, California. He was 73.
Ward also worked as a producer, director, production manager or post supervisor on such TV shows as The New Lassie, The Robert Guillaume Show and Harry and the Hendersons, and on several news documentaries.
Ward developed and refined the now-widely used practice of putting film cameras on video-camera pedestals, thereby allowing for much faster set-ups and major cost savings on multicamera series.
Charles in Charge aired on CBS and then in syndicated from 1984-90. It starred former Happy Days star Baio as a college student who works as a family’s live-in babysitter.
Before coming to Los Angeles, Ward served as a Broadway stage manager, a unit manager on Saturday Night Live and a production manager for NBC News in London. The Colorado native also helped open European news bureaus for CNN as it prepared for its launch in June 1980.
Survivors include his wife Joan, daughter Jessica, son John, grandchildren Kate and Connor, and brother Joseph.
Those wishing to celebrate Ward’s life, his family suggested, should “go to plays and movies, buy a giant bucket of popcorn and a supersized soda and enjoy!”
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