One of television's legends, Frank Peppiatt, has died. He was 85. Peppiatt passed away on Wednesday after a lengthy battle with bladder cancer.
Peppiatt was a Canadian producer and writer who went on to create and script some of the most popular television of the 1960s and 1970s. He was a mainstay of the variety show circuit, working as a writer on 'The Steve Allen Show,' 'The Perry Como Show,' and 'The Judy Garland Show.'
In 1953, Peppiatt and his long-time producing partner, fellow Canadian John Aylesworth, put together a series called 'After Hours,' a show that aired in Canada featuring musical numbers and short comedic pieces. The series was so successful that it featured acts by Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Peggy Lee.
Shortly after 'After Hours,' Peppiatt and Aylesworth took to Hollywood. After two decades of steady work as writers and producers, the pair had their greatest success with the creation of 'Hee Haw' in 1969. 'Hee Haw' was originally planned as a summer replacement for 'The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour' but quickly surged to the top of the ratings and developed it's own niche in the market. The program, as Peppiatt designed it, would air for an incredible twenty-three straight years.
Peppiatt's first and only book, entitled "When Variety was King," is scheduled to be published in April 2013. Aylesworth passed away in 2010; Peppiatt is survived by family, loved ones and fans. His mark on television history is indelible and he will be missed.