'Brady Bunch,' 'Gilligan's Island' creator Sherwood Schwartz dead at 94

Sherwood-Schwartz

Image Credit: Roger Walsh /Landov

The man behind some of the most influential shows — and theme songs — of the ’60s and ’70s, Sherwood Schwartz, died this morning, his son Lloyd Schwartz and nephew Douglas Schwartz confirm to EW.

Schwartz, who created both The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, was 94 and died at 4 a.m. of natural causes surrounded by family and loved ones, his son and business partner since 1972, said. “I learned so much from him. I produced all around. I’ve worked as a network executive, and no one came close to being as good as he was in every single way. And I’m not the only one saying that. If you ask any other producers who was best, they’ll say Sherwood Schwartz,” Lloyd Schwartz tells EW.

SHERWOOD SCHWARTZ: A tribute to his TV legacy

At the time of his death, Sherwood Schwartz was working with his son on the Gilligan’s Island movie for Warner Bros., which Lloyd Schwartz said will go on as planned. “We’ve been getting the script in and we’re turning it over soon. That will be another legacy of his,” he said. “He’s just going to go on. Some of my job is to make sure things are as he’d liked them to be — and they will be.”

Sherwood Schwartz’s career started in radio as a writer for Bob Hope’s show and he also worked for Armed Forces radio during WWII, his son said. But it was the desire to create feel-good television that eventually led to the creation of The Brady Bunch (1969-74) and Gilligan’s Island (1964-67). He also had a hand in the creations of the the satirical Brady movies and TV movies from both franchises. “I think television would be a lot better off if they did TV shows like he did. Believe it or not, he viewed Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch as the same show. They were about people trying to learn to get along,” Lloyd Schwartz says. “He felt like the lasting influence was that people felt better watching them.”

Sherwood Schwartz’s influence was even felt years after his most memorable shows were off the air. Douglas Schwartz credits his uncle and “second father” for the creation of his hit show Baywatch. “He was my mentor my entire life. If it wasn’t for my uncle Sherwood, I wouldn’t have had the career that I’ve had creating television series and producing television. That was all because of him. Baywatch wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for my uncle Sherwood,” he said. “He had a tremendous mark on television and people’s lives for, truly, generations.”

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  • orville

    RIP Sherwood. You provided me with wonderful entertainment during my childhood.

    • abadstroller

      “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” Thanks for the now classic TV memories, Sherwood. May the Schwartz be with you….

      • Steve

        One of god’s gift’s to television history has been stolen from us. I’m so sad.

  • Zach

    Nooooo…. I had just finished watching the series finale of Brady Bunch on Netflix with my boys! Forgot to mail it back today but you know what’s next in my que? Gilligan Season One! (We own two and three) These shows are timeless – my kids love them as much as I do. RIP Sherwood!

  • Bill Shakes

    Made my childhood sooo much better.
    R.I.P.

    • Steve

      Just make sure to always return the lava rocks and you’ll be OK.

  • Jackie

    I was working in customer service and one time had the pleasure of speaking to Mr. Schwartz. I was in my early 20’s at the time, and he told me his name, asked if I recognized it, and laughed when I told him it sounded kind of familiar. Such a nice man. RIP, sir!

  • From the desk of…Ryan Dunns Singed Beard

    94. Ah, yes. That was a great year…the first time I got some stank on my dank!

    • Tom

      Wow. Thanks for your heartfelt eulogy.

    • happydad

      Did it get in your nose and mouth, because you’re a d*ckhead.

      • ZackBauer

        happydad, FTW!

      • Steve

        let’s make some science project volcanos!

  • GEB

    RIP Sherwood Schwartz, I can’t thank you enough for all the wonderful hours of entertainment you have given myself and my family over the years…

  • Melinda S

    Oh no..I am so sorry to hear about Sherwood Schwartz passing…How I loved his shows and still do after all of these years. They certainly made my childhood a bit brighter. RIP and Thank you for those wonderful shows

  • Melinda S

    RIP Mr. Schwartz and Thank you for making my childhood brighter.

    • Steve

      And wish we all had 3 step sisters next door to our bedrooms growing up.

  • Kelson

    RIP Sherwood Schwartz. Even though most of us never met you or even saw you, you were like an old friend.

  • MiaS

    Part of my childhood just died.
    RIP

  • RBlues

    RIP Mr. Schwartz! The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island were constants for me in a childhood often marked with uncertainty and chaos. Thank you for the memories!

  • GOOD RIDDANCE

    Good riddance to the most foul and evil man in all of Hollywood. It could not have happened to a more fiendish person. May it rot in the lowest rung of Hades for stealing all that money from the stars.

    • A.J. Campbell

      Most foul and evil man in all of Hollywood. Apparently you’ve never heard of Jay Leno.

      • GOOD RIDDANCE

        Jay is the Republican ideal. He is pure and wholesome and represents the same. He does not worship at the foot of the altar that is the One-Term criminal from Chicago.

      • Steve

        Wow, you guys are so political. Don’t back over the tiki torches. I just bought them in remembrance of the great schwartz.

    • Em

      Keep it classy Good Riddance…

      • GOOD RIDDANCE

        One less Zionist. What’s the problem?

      • GOOD RIDDANCE

        Truth hurts, eh? It must for you to quote a pedantic line from a filthy non-talented hack formerly of SNL.

    • Sam

      That’s how everybody did it in Hollywood in those days. Besides, living until 94 and going from natural causes isn’t exactly karma.

    • KC

      Time for your meds, dear.

    • playjojo

      Wow, relative? Someone he stole a penny from?

    • The Ref

      GR, if you were correct, it would be “stay classy”. “Keep it classy” is actually an imperative directed at your classless trolling.

    • Gronk

      Go drink some tea with the rest of the little girls.

      • Steve

        THERE’s A STORY.. ABOUT A MAN NAMED

  • MWeyer

    As a kid who was addicted to Gilligan and his band of merry nutballs, thank you for so many memories, Sherwood.

  • From the desk of…Ryan Dunns Singed Beard

    Somewhere in heaven, Robert Reed and Sherwood are having SWEET make up sex…maybe on a big pink cloud…

    • RObeRt ReEDs GHost

      Gimme some of that bum! yum! BOOO!

  • claudenorth

    Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch were major touchstones in my childhood. “Serious” critics might have dismissed him, but who cares? He created characters and situation that will live on forever in the hearts of viewers.

    • Lenny X

      Thank you for Mary Anne Mr. Schwartz.

      • AcaseofGeo

        Ginger. Thank you for Ginger.

      • Steve

        on stage ginger would pee in a bucket instead of using regular bathrooms.. just thought you would like to know

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