Frank Buxton, an actor, director, and writer best known for penning episodes of such TV classics as The Odd Couple and Happy Days, died January 2 on Bainbridge Island in Washington. He was 87.
Buxton died after battling health issues for two years, according to the Kitsap Sun. Earlier in his career, he was the host and producer of the documentary series Discovery on ABC and hosted the game show Get the Message.
In addition to working with Garry Marshall on The Odd Couple and Happy Days, Buxton also wrote and directed episodes of Mork & Mindy and wrote for other era-defining TV sitcoms such as The Bob Newhart Show and One Day at a Time.
He was also responsible for creating the 1970 NBC Saturday morning TV show Hot Dog, which featured Woody Allen, Jonathan Winters and Jo Anne Worley. The children’s program won a Peabody Award.
He continued to work with Marshall as an actor on the big screen, appearing in the films Beaches, Overboard and Frankie and Johnny. He also lent his voice to various animated series including Batfink, Garfield and Friends and Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers and worked as a writer, producer and director for Paramount Television, serving as story editor for the anthology series Love, American Style.
Buxton joined the improvisational comedy and music troupe the Edge in 1995. Founded by Ellis and Ken Ballenger, the group has performed monthly at the Bainbridge Performing Arts since he joined and has occasionally gone on tour to surrounding cities.
He is survived by his wife, Cynthia.