Former television executive and producer Deanne Barkley has died. Barkley passed away on April 2 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. She was 82 years old. Barkley was named ABC’s Vice-President in charge of the network’s made-for-TV movies in 1972 during Barry Diller’s regime. Later she moved over to NBC in a similar role where she green lit hit miniseries based on James Michener’s Centennial novel and James Clavell’s Shogun. Also at NBC, Barkley gave former Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days actor Ron Howard his first directing job on 1978’s Cotton Candy. Along the way, the exec introduced Howard to his long time business partner Brian Grazer. Barkley was born in New Orleans in 1931. She started out in the early days of TV in the 1950s interviewing contestants for game shows. Later Barkley went on to be a writer and producer for talk shows hosts by Dick Cavett and Cosmopolitan’s Helen Gurley among others. In the late 70s, Barkley wrote the crime novel Freeway while working full time at NBC.
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