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Steve Kreinberg, a sitcom writer and producer who co-created the Fox comedy Herman’s Head and worked on other shows including Archie Bunker’s Place, Mork & Mindy and It’s a Living, has died. He was 73.
Kreinberg died March 30 in a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, after a battle with diabetes and other illnesses, his ex-wife Robin Baskin told The Hollywood Reporter.
He was nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards in 1980 and 1981 for writing questions for The Hollywood Squares, and that was his favorite job of all. “I was left alone all day to research trivia,” he said.
Kreinberg and Andy Guerdat, his writing partner of 17 years, created Herman’s Head, the high-concept comedy from Witt/Thomas Productions that aired for three seasons, from September 1991 through April 1994.
The show starred William Ragsdale as Herman, a research assistant for a magazine publisher, and featured Hank Azaria as his best friend and Yeardley Smith and Jane Sibbett as co-workers. The name of the lead character was a homage to Kreinberg’s father, who died the year the sitcom debuted.
Stephen Neil Kreinberg was born on April 23, 1946. He grew up in Miami Beach, then earned a degree in photography from the University of Florida and a master’s from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
During graduate school, he freelanced as a movie critic for the Syracuse New Times, an alternative weekly, then, after moving to San Francisco, conceived of and produced a free entertainment newspaper that he delivered to area colleges in his Volkswagen van.
Kreinberg and Guerdat broke through in Hollywood with a 1978 episode of The Jeffersons, and they would work on Archie Bunker’s Place, Mork & Mindy, It’s a Living, Head of the Class, Saved by the Bell: The College Years and Sister, Sister. Kreinberg also wrote for and produced the ABC adaptation of Nine to Five.
He moved to Asheville 25 years ago. Survivors include his sister, Nancy; his son Oliver, a chef who most recently worked at 189 by Dominique Ansel in Los Angeles; and his first wife, Nancy.
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