Leonard B. Stern
Leonard Bernard Stern
December 23, 1922
New York City, U.S.
|Died||June 7, 2011 (aged 88)|
|Occupation(s)||Publisher, director, writer, producer|
Leonard Bernard Stern (December 23, 1922 – June 7, 2011) was an American screenwriter, film and television producer, director, and one of the creators, with Roger Price, of the word game Mad Libs.
Stern was born in New York City and majored in journalism at New York University. He was a Women’s Army Corps recruiter while serving in the Army during World War II.
Stern was a successful television writer who wrote for such now classic series such as The Honeymooners, The Phil Silvers Show, The Steve Allen Show, Tonight Starring Steve Allen and Get Smart (a program on which he served as executive producer). Stern created the signature opening door credits for Get Smart.
Stern was also a writer for the 1952 Danny Thomas and Peggy Lee version of The Jazz Singer and a few Abbott and Costello films (with Martin Ragaway), among others. In the 1970s, he produced and directed the TV series McMillan & Wife, which starred Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James.
Stern was the senior vice president of Price Stern Sloan (PSS). In 2000, after Price's death, Stern and another partner, Larry Sloan, launched another publishing company, Tallfellow Press, and acquired the rights to Droodles. Stern co-wrote, with Diane L. Robison, A Martian Wouldn't Say That (2000), a compilation of actual memos and notes from television executives.
Early in his career, when he wanted to write feature films on his own, he had trouble finding work. When he finally got the assignment for Let's Go Navy! he adopted the pseudonym "Max Adams" because he "wasn't particularly proud of doing a Bowery Boys [film]".
Stern was married twice. His first marriage was in 1951 to actress Julie Adams. The marriage ended in divorce two years later in 1953. In 1956, Stern married actress Gloria Stroock, to whom he remained married until his death. The couple had two children, Kate and Michael.
On June 7, 2011, Stern died of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills, California, aged 88. He was survived by his wife of 55 years, actress Gloria Stroock, as well as a son, daughter, two grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. Funeral services were held at Mount Sinai Memorial Park.
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