Arts & Entertainment

Hal Kanter, Hollywood comedy writer, dies at age 92

FILE PHOTO: Hal Kanter
FILE PHOTO: Hal Kanter
Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

Hollywood comedy writer Hal Kanter, whose career spanned radio, television, film and the Oscars shows, has died in Los Angeles at 92. He wrote for Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, directed Elvis Presley in "Loving You" and created the landmark "Julia" TV show.

The Writers Guild of America says Kanter died on Sunday. Daughter Donna Kanter tells the Los Angeles Times he died from pneumonia complications at Encino Hospital.

Kanter wrote for the Oscars show for decades and was among show writers who shared Emmys in 1991 and 1992.

He created the 1968 NBC TV series "Julia" starring Diahann Carroll, the first sitcom to feature a black actress as a professional woman rather than a domestic worker.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that the series was not carried on some TV stations in the South its first couple of weeks.

“Eventually, the show became such a hit, they were forced to carry it," Kanter recalled in a 1997 interview with the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television. The show ran for three seasons.

Kanter also wrote the 1952 Hope and Crosby movie "Road to Bali" and Presley's 1957 movie "Loving You," which he also directed.

Carl Reiner, a longtime friend of Kanter's, told the Times, "He was considered one of the wits of the industry; there's no question about it. Any time he was called upon, he always could make the audience laugh."