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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

TV loses a legendary producer: Marty Krofft, creator of ‘Donny & Marie,’ passes away at 86

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NEW YORK — Mixed feelings of nostalgia⁤ and sadness filled the hearts of ⁤many as⁤ news spread of the‌ passing⁤ of‍ TV producer,​ Marty Krofft, ⁢at the age of 86. With imaginative children’s shows such as “H.R. Pufnstuf” and primetime ⁣hits like​ “Donny & Marie”​ in the​ 1970s, Krofft’s talent and passion for storytelling left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry.

Krofft’s⁤ publicist, Harlan Boll, announced his ⁤death on Saturday,‍ revealing that​ the ​cause was kidney failure.

Along ⁤with his‍ brother, Sid Krofft, the duo began as ⁢puppeteers and ⁢broke into ‍television, ‍eventually earning ‍themselves stars on ⁣the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They brought a unique and trippy sensibility to children’s TV⁤ and gave viewers unforgettable moments with the likes of Donny Osmond and ‍Marie Osmond, as well as Barbara Mandrell⁤ and her sisters on ‌primetime.

The Osmonds’ ⁢wholesome variety show, which featured the youngest ​hosts on TV⁣ at the time,‍ has become‌ a cultural phenomenon, even ⁣being rebooted in ‍the ’90s ‍and adapted into a Broadway Christmas show in 2010. The Kroffts ​continued their‍ success⁣ with “Barbara Mandrell and the⁤ Mandrell Sisters,” a musical variety ​show centered around the country​ music star, which ran‍ from 1980-82.

One of ‌their most beloved shows, “H.R. Pufnstuf,” may have only had 17 episodes, but⁣ its popularity has endured for over 45 years. In a ⁢2007 TV Guide poll ranking of all-time ⁤cult‍ favorites, the show​ landed the​ 27th⁣ spot. And in a touching tribute to ⁢the ⁣show’s​ lasting ⁤impact, the title character ‍made an appearance on another Krofft brothers’ show, ⁢”Mutt ‍& Stuff,” which aired on Nickelodeon ​for multiple seasons.

Reflecting on their ⁤success in an ‌interview with the‍ Associated Press‍ in 2015, Marty Krofft shared, “To make ⁢another ⁣hit at this time in our lives,‌ I’ve got to give ourselves a pat on⁤ the back.” He also addressed the ongoing ⁢speculation that the surreal show was influenced by drug use, saying, “If we did the​ drugs‌ everybody thought we ‍did, we’d be dead today… You cannot ⁤work stoned.”

The World ​of‌ Sid

Born in Montreal on April 9, 1937, Krofft first discovered his love for entertainment through puppetry. Along with his‌ brother, they put together a risqué, cabaret-inspired puppet show​ called ⁤”Les ⁣Poupées de Paris”⁣ in 1960, which eventually⁣ led to creating puppet shows for amusement parks. The duo even opened ⁤their own⁣ amusement park, the short-lived World of Sid & Marty ⁢Krofft, in Atlanta in the 1970s.

Their breakthrough in television ⁤came with “H.R. Pufnstuf,” which also spawned a feature film ⁤in 1970. The Kroffts continued ⁤to create memorable shows for different audiences, including ‍”Land⁢ of the Lost,” “Electra Woman and⁣ Dyna Girl,”⁣ “Pryor’s Place” with comedian Richard ​Pryor, ⁤and “D.C. Follies,” where puppets gave a comical ⁢spin on politics​ and ⁢the news.

In 2018, the brothers were honored with a Daytime Emmy ⁣for lifetime achievement, and ​two years later, they ‍received their own⁣ star on the Hollywood ‍Walk⁤ of Fame. In an emotional⁣ Instagram post, Sid⁤ Krofft expressed his ‌sorrow​ over⁣ the loss ‍of his⁣ younger ​brother, ​saying, ⁢”All of you meant the world to him.”

Despite their many accolades ⁢and accomplishments, Marty ⁣Krofft showed no signs ‍of slowing down, as he told the Associated ⁣Press in 2015, “What am I gonna do⁣ —⁢ retire and watch daytime television⁢ and be dead​ in a month?” He leaves⁢ behind a legacy of creativity, innovation, and joy ‌that will continue​ to inspire generations to come.

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Truth Media Network
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