Lee Rich

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Lee Rich
Born (1918-12-19)December 19, 1918
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died May 24, 2012(2012-05-24) (aged 93)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Cause of death lung cancer
Nationality American
Education Ohio University
Occupation film and television producer
Known for The Waltons and Dallas producer
Spouse(s) Pippa Scott (1964-1983)
Children Michael Henes, Jessica Rich, Miranda Rich Tollman, Blair Rich and Anthony Rich
Awards Emmy Award

Lee Rich (December 19, 1918 – May 24, 2012) was an American film and television producer, who won the 1973 Outstanding Drama Series Emmy award for The Waltons as the producer. He is also known as the co-founder and former chairman of Lorimar Television.[1]

Among the five Emmy nominated programs Rich produced were the series Dallas and Knots Landing.

Early life and education

Rich was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 19, 1918. He earned a marketing degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.[2][3]


Rich began his career in advertising and ultimately became an industry executive.

He served in the Navy as a lieutenant in World War II, and then returned to advertising in New York, where he rose to senior vice president and a member of the board of Benton & Bowles .

As the ad agency middleman between product company sponsors and television producers, he was involved with The Andy Griffith Show, Make Room for Daddy, The Edge of Night, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Rich left Benton & Bowles in 1965 to partner with the Mirisch Co. and form Mirisch-Rich Productions. There he produced The Rat Patrol.

In 1969, he, Merv Adelson, and Irwin Molasky formed Lorimar Productions. The Homecoming (1971), and then sequel The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971), served as a pilot for The Waltons, which ran on CBS from 1972 to 1981. Rich also co-produced the short-lived 1977 CBS espionage drama Hunter. Lorimar's biggest hit was the primetime soap Dallas, which ran from 1978-91. In regards to the famous Dallas storyline “Who shot J.R.?” in which Larry Hagman’s character is fired upon in the 1979-80 season finale in March and the assailant is not revealed until the following November, only Rich and writer-director Leonard Katzman knew which of three previously shot endings would be used.

After leaving Lorimar in 1986, Rich joined MGM/UA Communications. For two years he was the chairman and chief executive of MGM.[4]

Personal life

Rich was married to American actress Pippa Scott (December 16, 1964 – October 17, 1983). They divorced and had five children.[5]


Rich died on May 24, 2012, at the age of 93 in Los Angeles, California from lung cancer.[2][6]





  1. Fink, Nikki (2012-05-25). "R.I.P. Television Mogul Lee Rich". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vitello, Paul (May 30, 2012). "Lee Rich Dies at 93; Helped Create Both J.R. and John-Boy". New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. McLellan, Dennis (May 26, 2012). "Lee Rich dies at 93; advertising executive became a top TV producer". Retrieved September 11, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Lee Rich, Co-Founder of Legendary Production Company Lorimar, Dies at 93". The Hollywood Reporter.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118054663?refCatId=14 variety.com
  6. "TV mogul Lee Rich dies at 91: Exec co-founded Lorimar, headed MGM/UA". Chicago Tribune. May 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links