William Self, the former actor turned producer and head of 20th Century Fox TV for 15 years, passed away Monday night at UCLA Medical Center after suffering a heart attack last week. He was 89. Under his tenure, the studio produced Peyton Place, Batman, and M*A*S*H and other classic TV shows from the 1960s and 1970s. The Los Angeles Times has a good obit here. What isn’t there was his love of Old Hollywood. As one of his friends emailed me, “I knew Bill for 24 years. He was wholly unlike most producers: modest, quiet, good sense of humor. And he had a true love for the business. He played tennis with Chaplin, was close friends with Fred Astaire, Spencer Tracy, and almost every other name of old Hollywood. He could tell great stories of his times with Howard Hawks. He was not only a good producer, but a great guy. When he did the last two Sarah: Plain & Tall made-for-TV movies, he asked me to do the makeup. I had to turn it down because it was non-union. ‘I know,’ Bill told me, ‘but I didn’t want you to think I forgot you.'”
R.I.P. William Self
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