Writer-producer Dana Baratta, known for projects including Dawson’s Creek, Jessica Jones and Good Behavior and a close collaborator with producer Melissa Rosenberg, died on Sunday She was 59. Her family announced Baratta’s death after a years-long battle with ovarian cancer.
Born in a small town in Maine, Baratta kicked off her film and TV career with the 1994 movie Andre, the family drama directed by George Miller. Baratta wore a number of hats on the pic as an editor, co-producer and writer.
In 1998, she landed Dawson’s Creek, the first of many TV series for which she would write and produce. She wrote seven episodes for the WB series that launched the careers of James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams among others.
Her next TV series gig would be Providence, the Emmy-winning John Masius romance drama for NBC. She produced 13 episodes and even wrote one for the series.
Throughout the early 2000s Baratta worked up the ladder and soon became a supervising producer for North Shore, then a co-executive producer for series including Cracking Up, Runaway and Life Is Wild. She also had an acting credit in Miguel Areta’s 2000 indie hit Chuck & Buck.
After serving as executive producer on Shonda Rhimes’ Private Practice, Baratta began her collaboration with Rosenberg on Red Widow, which they co-executive produced. The two would reunite in 2015 to co-executive produce Netflix’s Marvel series Jessica Jones; Baratta penned three episodes.
Her most recent writing and producing credits were for TNT’s Good Behavior.
Baratta is survived by her husband David Smith; her stepsons, Mathew Smith and his wife Jen, and Michael Smith. She is also survived by her sister Lise Baratta and her brothers Mark Baratta and David Baratta.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to support UCLA’s Dr. Beth Y. Karlan and her team’s ovarian cancer research. More info here.
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