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'M*A*S*H' Creator Larry Gelbart Dies

Larry Gelbart, who created the classic TV adaptation of Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H" and whose talented comedy writing stretched from the days of radio to cutting-edge cable shows, died at his home in Beverly Hills Friday morning. He was 81.

He had been diagnosed with cancer in June, his wife Pat said to the Los Angeles Times.

Gelbart, the principal writer on "M*A*S*H" during the first four years of the hit series, was responsible for 97 segments of the show, one of TV's best and most literate comedies. He also directed some early episodes

Beginning as a gag writer in days of radio and honing his comic craft for such talents as Jack Carson and Bob Hope. Gelbart was a versatile stylist who succeeded in various formats, including the stage.

Gelbart won an Emmy with co-producer Gene Reynolds for "M*A*S*H" as well as three WGA Awards for the episodes he wrote. He picked up two Tonys for writing the books for the musicals "A Funny Thing Happened to the Way to the Forum" and "City of Angels." He collected six awards from the Writers Guild of America, including the Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement. And he earned two Oscar nominations for the screenplays for "Oh, God" and "Tootsie."

He is survived by his wife, their two children Adam and Becky, two stepchildren Gary and Paul Markowitz, six grandchildren and two great-grandchild.

Nielsen Business Media 

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