Friday, September 11, 2009

Larry Gelbart

Larry Gelbart, the award-winning writer whose sly, sardonic wit helped create such hits as Broadway's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," the films "Tootsie" and "Oh, God!" and television's "M-A-S-H," is dead.
Gelbart died at his Beverly Hills home Friday morning after a long battle with cancer, said Creative Artists Agency, which represented him. He was 81.
Gelbart, who won a Tony for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," an Emmy for "M-A-S-H" and was nominated for two Oscars, is most likely best remembered for the long-running TV show about Army doctors during the Korean War.

"M-A-S-H" debuted on CBS in 1972, when the nation was still embroiled in the Vietnam War, and some viewers were initially puzzled or offended by its depiction of the cynical, wisecracking physicians who worked frantically to save the lives of soldiers.
By its second season it had caught on, however, and it remained one of television's top-10 rated shows for a decade, until its final episode in 1983. Along the way, it won numerous awards including the Emmy for best comedy series.
"What attracted me to `M-A-S-H' was the theme song, `Suicide is Painless,'" Gelbart once remarked. "It was written in a very minor key and appealed to me emotionally."
The show, based on a book and the 1970 Robert Altman film of the same name, starred Alan Alda. Gelbart was brought into the project by producer-director Gene Reynolds who worked with him shaping the show.

After writing 97 half-hour episodes and winning an Emmy, Gelbart quit during the show's fourth season, saying he was "totally worn out."

We have the book that the show MASH was based on as well as complete series on DVD

No comments: