Marty Krofft, co-creator of hit kids’ TV shows, dies of kidney failure at 86



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Marty Krofft, co-creator of iconic children’s television shows including “H.R. Pufnstuff” and “Land of the Lost,” died Saturday afternoon in California, his representative announced. He was 86 years old.

His publicist B. Croft died of kidney failure surrounded by family and friends in Los Angeles, Harlan Boll said in a statement.

The creator, along with his brother, Sid Croft, is best known for creating hit children’s television shows in the 1970s that spanned multiple generations.

The two were doing a puppet show when NBC asked them to create a Saturday morning children’s series. He became “HR Pufnstuf”, establishing himself as a fan-favorite character from his live shows.

His representative wrote, “Its success spawned a feature film, which was produced with Universal Pictures as a partner and distributor.”

Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures became a household name in the 1970s, helping them create and produce family and children’s shows for over 50 years. Ultimately, Marty Krofft would be called the “King of Saturday Morning”.

Croft and his brother are the brains behind television shows including “The Bugaloos,” “Leedsville,” “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters,” “Pryor Place,” “Far Out Space Nuts,” “The Lost Saucer,” “The “Kroft Supershow”. ,” “Wonderbug,” “Electra Woman and Diana Girl,” “Dr. “Shrinker,” and “Bigfoot and Wildboy.”

Driven by creativity and a big dream, the Croft brothers wanted their TV characters to live outside the television box. In 1976, he opened an amusement park in Atlanta, which was then called The Omni. It would not be an exaggeration to call it imaginary.

Visitors to “The World of Sid and Marty Krofft” rode an eight-story escalator and were greeted by actors in costumes, a carousel, and a ride in which they sat in human-sized pinballs, ricocheting through a course . Atlanta History Center,

It was all so much fun and entertaining – until the park folded for various reasons just a few months later. But the Crofts live in Atlanta. The Omni was renamed CNN Center, and people who visited CNN’s Atlanta operations began by climbing escalators.

In the late 1980s, Croft and his brother created and produced the satirical series “DC Follies,” which featured a group of life-sized puppets portraying prominent figures, including Richard Nixon and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The show, which ran for two seasons from 1987 to 1989 during prime time, became a hit with politicians as well as the public.

After appearing in a feature show on CBS in 1988, Krofft created a series of live shows called “Comedy Kings” for the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Other prime time shows include “Donny & Marie”, “The Brady Bunch Hour” and “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters” on ABC.

The Croft brothers were honored with a Lifetime Career Award at the Saturn Awards in 2003 for creating some of the most iconic fictional television shows.

In 2018, he received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The pair received a star on the world famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020 in honor of their “Golden Anniversary”.

Recently, Croft received the Julie Award at the 2023 Dragon Con in Atlanta.

Surviving are Marty Croft’s brothers, Harry Croft and Sid Croft; his daughters Deanna Croft-Pope, Christina and Kendra Croft; five grandchildren; And a great-grandson.

CNN’s Phil Gast contributed to this report.

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