Bernie Kahn, Veteran Sitcom Writer and Producer, Dies at 90

Writer and producer Bernie Kahn died Wednesday, April 21 at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 90.

Kahn was best known for his work on sitcoms, writing over 100 episodes for shows including “Get Smart,” “Maude,” “The Addams Family,” “The Love Boat,” “Tabitha,” “Three’s Company,” “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” “The Lucy Show,” “Make Room for Grandaddy,” “Love American Style,” “The Partridge Family,” “James at Sixteen” and “Bewitched,” for which he wrote 15 episodes.

Kahn also created the NBC sitcom “Joe & Valerie,” which starred Paul Regina and Char Fontane as the title characters, and was nominated for two Writers Guild of America awards for episodic comedy for “Get Smart” and “My World and Welcome to It.”

In 1971, Kahn co-wrote the Disney movie “The Barefoot Executive,” and in 1985, he wrote the screenplay for the sex comedy film “Basic Training.” He produced several movies for television, including “She Led Two Lives,” “Father & Son: Dangerous Relations” and “Fire in the Dark.”

Before starting his career in television, Kahn ran his own radio talk show while serving in the U.S. Army on his military base base in Maryland. His first job was at NBC’s Monitor Radio as a producer and writer before becoming a staff writer at the Bob and Ray comedy radio show.

In addition to his work in show business, Kahn was also an accomplished swimmer who earned a scholarship to the University of Michigan and won championships in the army. In 1953, he represented the US at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, where he won the gold medal in the 100 meter backstroke race. He represented the US again in the Pan American Games in Argentina, and 10 years ago he was inducted into the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Kahn is survived by his wife Elinor Berger along with his three daughters, two step-children and five grandchildren. A memorial is being planned for the future. Donations can be made to the Motion Picture & Television Fund in his honor.

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