Curtis, Dan 1928-2006
Curtis, Dan 1928-2006
(Daniel Meyer Curtis)
See index for CA sketch: Born August 12, 1928, in Bridgeport, CT; died of brain cancer, March 27, 2006, in Los Angeles, CA. Film and television director and producer, and author. The Emmy-winning Curtis was best known for creating the television horror soap Dark Shadows and for the epics The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Earning a B.A. from Syracuse University in 1950, Curtis found success early in television when he was hired in 1952 to head sales in the film division for the National Broadcasting Company in New York City. He worked there through the 1950s and, briefly, for MCA as a sales representative from 1961 to 1962, before founding Dan Curtis Productions in Los Angeles in 1962. The next year, he started executive producing the successful CBS Match Play Classic, an Emmy-winning golf program that ran until 1973. From 1966 to 1971, Curtis produced the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, a show that has become a cult hit over the years. He would adapt it for the big screen as House of Dark Shadows (1970), but an attempt to revive the series for NBC in 1991 was unsuccessful. In the early 1970s, Curtis had another television hit with the horror series Night Stalker, starring Darren McGavin. Having developed a reputation in the horror genre, he switched gears in the 1980s by adapting the Herman Wouk novel The Winds of War (1983) into a forty million dollar epic television series of the same name. This was followed in 1988 with another Wouk adaptation, War and Remembrance, at a cost of 104 million dollars. This miniseries earned him an Emmy in 1988, as well as the Outstanding Directorial Achievement Award for Television from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Golden Globe, and a People's Choice award. Curtis received several Emmy nominations as well, including for his adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and for The Winds of War. Realizing he had hit the height of his career with his war miniseries, Curtis worked on less ambitious but still well-received projects later in life, including the television film Our Fathers (2005).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, March 28, 2006, p. B11.
New York Times, March 29, 2006, p. A20.
Washington Post, April 1, 2006, p. B6.