Larry Gelbart Dies At Age 81

Celebrity deaths come in threes…..

First it was Dominic Dunn then Army Archerd, and now it’s Larry Gelbart. Three Hollywood writing legends sent to Heaven in the last three weeks.

Dominic Dunn died on August 26, 2009 at the age of 83 from bladder cancer.

Army Archerd died on September 8, 2009 at the age of 87 from mesothelioma.

Larry Gelbart the award-winning writer of such classics as Broadway’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” the movies “Oh! God!” and “Tootsie,” as well as TV’s M*A*S*H died September 11, 2009 at the age of 81 from cancer.

Wow, three entertainment writers in their 80s, and they all died from cancer. That’s kinda crazy.

Gelbart’s longtime friend and colleague Carl Reiner remembers his friend as “the Jonathan Swift of our day.”

“It’s a great, great, great, great, great, great loss. You can’t put enough ‘greats’ in front of it,” said Reiner, who directed “Oh, God!” from Gelbart’s Oscar-nominated script. “The mores of our time were never more dissected and discussed. He had the ability to make an elaborate joke given nothing but one line.”

Larry Gelbart got his start in Hollywood at the young age of 16 when his Los Angeles based barber father bragged to Danny Thomas about his Larry’s writing skills. Thomas asked to see some of the younger Gelbart’s work and soon hired the teen to write for his radio show.

The rest, as they say, is history.


Larry Gelbart dies at age 81