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In Memoriam: Marty Krofft, Visionary Co-Producer of Iconic Children’s TV Shows, Passes Away at 86

Marty Krofft
Marty Krofft (Credits: The New York Times)

“H.R. Pufnstuf” and “Land of the Lost,” two cherished children’s television classics co-produced by Marty Krofft, died on Saturday afternoon in California at the age of 86, according to his representative. His Los Angeles relatives and friends were there to greet him, and kidney failure was the reason for his death.

Marty and his brother Sid Krofft became well-known in the 1970s for their work on children’s television, leaving a legacy that was passed down through the generations. Their career in show business started with puppet shows. Later, at NBC’s request, they developed the Saturday morning smash “H.R. Pufnstuf,” a character that became a fan favorite throughout their live appearances. The popularity of the program prompted Universal Pictures to partner on a feature film.

 Marty Krofft

Marty Krofft (Credits: Deadline)

Their impressive repertoire includes iconic shows like “The Bugaloos,” “Lidsville,” “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters,” “Pryor’s Place,” “Far Out Space Nuts,” “The Lost Saucer,” “The Krofft Supershow,” “Wonderbug,” “Electra Woman and Dyna Girl,” “Dr. Shrinker,” and “Bigfoot & Wildboy.” The brothers established Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures as a household name in the 1970s, and Marty was dubbed the “King of Saturday Mornings.”

The Krofft brothers entered the world of satire in the late 1980s when they created “D.C. Follies,” a prime-time program that starred life-size puppets portraying well-known people and won praise from both the public and lawmakers. Their impact could be seen in live performances of “Comedy Kings” at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as well as in appearances on popular prime-time television shows, including “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters,” “The Brady Bunch Hour,” and “Donny & Marie” on ABC.

The Krofft brothers won the Lifetime Career Award at the Saturn Awards in 2003 and the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2018, both organizations recognizing them for their noteworthy contributions. Marty Krofft was presented with the Julie Award at the 2023 Dragon Con in Atlanta, and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020 marked their “Golden Anniversary.”

Harry and Sid Krofft, Marty’s brothers, are his surviving siblings. Along with five grandchildren and a great-grandchild, he is survived by his daughters, Deanna Krofft-Pope, Kristina, and Kendra Krofft.

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