Screenwriter and producer also wrote for “Committed” and “The Stephanie Miller Show” and produced “A Different World” from 1987 to 1988.
Ann Beats, the creator of the CBS sitcom Square Pegs and original author of Saturday Night Live, has died. He is 74 years old.
Beats died on Wednesday, LLR Newman, the original SNL actor, tweeted on Thursday. “Our writer Ann OG SNL died yesterday,” wrote Newman.
“Anne was a pioneer – she really paved the way for women in comedy, and especially for comedy writers who probably wouldn’t have been shot if Anne had never done it – but she is my friend in general – was my heart completely broken,” added filmmaker Rona Edwards, a Beats colleague from Chapman University and a friend. “She is unique and nothing can replace her intelligence, wisdom and talent, but for me nothing can become her friendship and replace humanity.”
Beates has won two Emmy Awards and has co-written several SNL characters with writing partner Rosie Schuster, including Todd and Lisa Lupner, Irwin Mainway, Fred Garvin, and Uncle Roy. In addition to creating and producing Square Pegs and working on SNL, the screenwriter and producer also wrote for The Stephanie Miller Show (where he was also executive producer) and hired and played A Different World with Professors at the College of Film from 1987 to 1988 – and media arts from Chapman University and Christina Dodge.
“It is my heart to lose Anne,” wrote Dodge College Dean Stephen Galloway (who is also a former THR manager) in a letter to faculty and staff on Thursday. “It’s hard to believe that the passionate, passionate, and fun woman I spoke to a few days ago is no longer with us. She was a pioneer in so many ways – as the first editor of Harvard Lampoon and one of the first Writers on Saturday Night Live. But not only. she is the queen of comedy; she is also an excellent mentor to many of our students. She will continue to live through them. “”
Beates was born in Buffalo, New York, in February 1947 and grew up in various locations on the East Coast. After attending McGill University in Montreal, where he wrote for the independent student newspaper McGill Daily, he joined The National Lampoon as the first writer and editor. During his time on Saturday Night Live between 1975 and 1980, he was nominated for five Emmy Awards. His favorite sitcom, Square Pegs, starring young Sarah Jessica Parker, followed in 1982, but was canceled after one season.
Beats wrote, produced, and directed a number of different titles, notably the co-artist who produced the first season of the Cosby Show spinoff A Different World between 1987 and 1988, and a writer and executive producer on the syndicated talk show The Stephanie Miller Show im Year. 1995. He returned to SNL in 1999 to write and give special advice on the 25th anniversary of the series for which he won his third WGA Award. Until 2006 he was the director and screenwriter and producer of Yves Brandstein, director and producer of the anthology series “John Waters Presents Films That Will Spoil You”. She and Brandstein also wrote and produced pilots, including Julie Brown: The Show and Belles of Bleaker Street. In 2016, THR announced that Beats would co-create and produce the animated Blues Brothers series with Dan Icroyd and Judy Belushi.
Beats also writes for magazines and newspapers and contributes to the humorous column “Beatts Me!” for the 1997-1998 Los Angeles Times, and for books: She was co-editor of Saturday Night Live 1977, Titters 1976: The First Collection of Women’s Humor, and Titters Since 1984. She has also co-authored The Mother’s Book of 1986. She wrote the 1985 Broadway book Jukebox, The Pack Leader, Based on the Life of Eli Greenwich, and 1980 Gilda Live.
In addition to teaching film and television writing at Chapman University, Beates also teaches at the University of Southern California School of Cinematography and the California State University School of Film and Television Arts at Northridge.
Beats survived his daughter Jaylene Beats; her sister Barbara; Brother Murray; and nieces Kate and Jennifer.