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Anne Beatts Dead: ‘SNL’ writer and ‘Square Pegs’ creator was 74

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11:00 am PDT 04/08/2021

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Katie Kilkenny

The writer-producer has also written for ‘Engagement’ and ‘The Stephanie Miller Show’ and produced ‘A Different World’ from 1987 to 1988.

Anne Beatts, creator of the CBS sitcomSquare dowels and an original writer fromSaturday Night Live, is dead. She was 74 years old.

Beatts died Wednesday, Laraine Newman, an original member of SNL, written in a tweetThursday. “Our writer Anne an OG SNL passed away yesterday,” Newman wrote.

“Anne was a trailblazer, she really paved the way for women in comedy and actresses in particular who might not have had their picture if Anne hadn’t gone before them, but overall she was. my friend, my heart is completely broken, ”film producer Rona Edwards, a Beatts colleague at Chapman University and friend, added in a statement. “She was one of a kind and no one can ever replace her wit, wisdom and talent, but for me, nothing can ever replace her friendship and humanity.”

Recipient of two Emmy Awards, The Beatts have co-created several SNL characters alongside his writing partner Rosie Shuster, including Todd and Lisa Lupner, Irwin Mainway, Fred Garvin and Uncle Roy. Along with creation and production Square dowels and his work on SNL, the writer-producer also wrote for The Stephanie Miller Show (of which she was also an executive producer) and Committed and product co-executive A different world from 1987 to 1988. Upon his death, Beatts was a lecturer at Lawrence University in Chapman and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

I’m sorry to lose Anne, Dean of Dodge College Stephen Galloway (who is also a former editor of THR) wrote in a letter sent to faculty and staff on Thursday. It’s hard to believe that the vibrant, passionate and funny woman I just spoke to a few days ago is no longer with us. She was a pioneer in many ways as the first editor-in-chief of Harvard Lampoon and one of the first women writers on Saturday Night Live. But she wasn’t just the queen of comedy; she has also been an amazing mentor to many of our students. Shell lives through them.

Born in Buffalo, New York in February 1947, Beatts grew up in several locations on the East Coast. After attending McGill University in Montreal, where she wrote for the independent student newspaper the McGill Daily, She joined The National Lampoon as his first female writer-editor. During his time at Saturday Night Live, between 1975 and 1980, she was nominated for five Emmy Awards. His beloved sitcom Square anchors, starring a young Sarah Jessica Parker, followed in 1982, but was canceled after one season.

Beatts went on to write, produce and direct a number of different titles, including co-producing the first season of Cosby Show spin off A different world between 1987 and 1988 and writing and executive production of the syndicated talk show The Stephanie Miller Show in 1995. She returned to SNL in 1999 to write and consult on a 25th anniversary special for the series, for which she won her third WGA award. In 2006, she and her writer-producer partner Eve Brandstein co-directed and produced the film anthology series. John Waters presents filmsIt will corrupt you. She and Brandstein have also written and produced pilot projects, including Julie Brown: the show and The Belles of Bleecker Street. In 2016, THR reported that Beatts was set to co-create and co-produce a Blues brothers animated series alongside Dan Aykroyd and Judy Belushi.

Beatts has also written for magazines and newspapers, contributing to the humor column “Beatts Me!” to the Los Angeles Times between 1997 and 1998, as well as for books: she co-edited 1977Saturday Night Live, Years 1976Titters: the first collection of humor by women and 1984’s Titters 101. She also co-wrote 1986 Mom’s book. On Broadway, she wrote the book for the 1985 musical jukebox Leader of the pack, based on the life of Ellie Greenwich, and written for the 1980s Gilda Live.

In addition to teaching at Chapman University, Beatts taught writing for film and television at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and at the School of Cinema and Television Arts at California State. University at Northridge.

Beatts is survived by his daughter, Jaylene Beatts; his sister, Barbara; brother, Murray; and nieces Kate and Jennifer.



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