Death notices very seldom are occasions of joy (we at TVWriter™ know, in theory they never are, but we also have lived for awhile in the real world, where things are different), but all we could think when a friend showed us this one was, “Wow, there definitely are worse lives out there, and worse ways to have lived.”
In other words, we hope our own obits show half as much accomplishment as this one, for a writer who clearly was much too unsung:
Frank Barron, the eclectic writing career of a Hollywood character
Not every character in Hollywood becomes famous, but they make their contributions. Writer Frank Barron tried his hand at all sorts of show business gigs, and over the years became one of the threads that connects and enlivens the Hollywood tapestry.
Barron, who died of natural causes on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, at the age of 98, wrote cartoons, radio shows, a primetime TV series, and worked as an industry journalist and rock promoter, according to his obituary in The Los Angeles Daily News.
He was married in the living room of “The Partidge Family” star Shirley Jones, and “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston stopped by to wish him a happy 97th birthday in 2016.
His wife, Margie Barron, described him as, “a remarkable man – journalist, comedy writer, and a true Hollywood character.”
Barron was born in Elizabeth, N.J., and was a published author by his teens, having submitted articles to magazines like “This Boy’s Life.” He covered sports for The Newark Evening News before serving overseas in the Medical Corps during World War II. After the war, he ran Air Force base newspapers in Japan for a year. He then made his way to Hollywood.
He teamed up with partner Ray Brenner and began writing comedy. They got work writing on the radio for Red Skelton, Edgar Bergen, Martin & Lewis, and “Fibber McGee and Molly.”
He wrote scenarios for Woody Woodpecker cartoons for his friend, Joseph Barbera, founder of Hanna-Barbera cartoon studio. He also created a primetime TV western, “The Man from Blackhawk,” about an insurance investigator in the wild west.
There were bumps in the road along the way. “The Man from Blackhawk” fell victim to a writers strike, and Barron lost out on a chance to direct local TV variety show “Komedy Kapers,” when Jerry Lewis needed experience for his Directors Guild of America card.
However, he remained open to the opportunities that did come his way. He had two stints as an editor for The Hollywood Reporter, and spent time working for Gibson & Stromberg, a rock ‘n’ roll PR company….
Read it all at Legacy
Speaking of the website, here’s a link we saw embedded in the middle of this article that left us, well, let’s call it, “bemused.” You’ll see what we mean: