February 22, 1926
Washington, Pennsylvania, United States
August 19, 2015
Bel Air, California, United States
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A gifted director, producer and writer in both film and television, Bud Yorkin was best known for his work with Norman Lear, particularly the groundbreaking sitcom "All in the Family" (CBS 1971-79). A native of the small Pittsburgh-area town of Washington, Pennsylvania, Alan David Yorkin joined the Navy at the age of 16 in 1942, then studied at Carnegie Tech following his discharge. After joining NBC in New York as an engineer in 1949, Yorkin rose through the company ranks to become a prolific producer and director of popular variety shows, including "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (NBC 1950-55) and "The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show" (NBC 1956-1961). In 1959, Yorkin formed the independent production company Tandem Productions with writer and producer Norman Lear. While remaining focused on television work through the '60s, Yorkin also directed several films. These included the screen adaptation of Neil Simon's first Broadway hit "Come Blow Your Horn" (1963); middle-aged pregnancy comedy "Never Too Late" (1965); "Divorce American Style" (1967), starring Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds; "Inspector Clouseau" (1968), starring Alan Arkin as the bumbling policeman character created by Peter Sellers; and the French Revolution comedy "Start the Revolution Without Me" (1970), starring Gene Wilder. In 1971, Yorkin and Lear's "All in the Family" became one of television's most controversial and popular sitcoms. Yorkin also produced the hits "Sanford and Son" (NBC 1972-77) and "Good Times" (CBS 1974-79). In 1975, Yorkin formed Bud Yorkin Productions and TOY Productions with frequent collaborators Saul Turteltaub and Bernie Orenstein. The new company produced sitcoms including the hit "What's Happening!!" (ABC 1976-79) and "Carter Country" (ABC 1977-79) before folding in 1982. Returning to film work, Yorkin served as an uncredited executive producer on the cult favorite "Blade Runner" (1982) and produced the William Friedkin-directed flop "Deal of the Century" (1983). He moved back into the director's chair for the first time in 12 years with the romantic drama "Twice In A Lifetime" (1985), which garnered a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for Amy Madigan. Yorkin next directed the poorly-received sequel "Arthur 2: On the Rocks" (1988) and the romantic comedy-drama "Love Hurts" (1990), starring Jeff Daniels and Yorkin's second wife, actress Cynthia Sikes. Yorkin's final screen credit came as producer of the Richard Gere/Sharon Stone drama "Intersection" (1994). Bud Yorkin died at his Bel Air home on August 18, 2015 at the age of 89.