‘Roseanne,’ ‘Home Improvement’ Producer 81 Years Old – The Hollywood Reporter

Gayle S. Maffeo, three-time Emmy-nominated producer who worked on the first season of Roseanne and all eight seasons of another popular ABC sitcom, starring Tim Allen Upgrade house, has died. She is 81 years old.

Maffeo passed away Friday at her home in Los Angeles after a brief battle with cancer, her daughter, Laura, announced.

Maffeo produced specials starring Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny and George Burns in the 1960s and ’70s before she turned to sitcoms including Nell Carter’s Gimme a Break!By Dabney Coleman buffalo billMary Tyler Moore’s Mary, The leader of the class and Open all night.

She was a senior tv vp for Matt Williams and David McFadzean’s Wind Dancer Productions, where she produced Roseanne 1988-89, Upgrade house from 1991-99 and other shows like Carol Burnett’s Carol & CompanyDan Aykroyd’s Soul Man, Thunder Alley and Best friend.

Maffeo, Williams, McFadzean and others shared Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series for their work Upgrade house 1992-94 but lost Murphy Brown, Seinfeld and Frasier in consecutive years.

The second of three children, Gayle Arden Sickinger was born on April 29, 1941, in Evanston, Illinois. After her father, Kenneth, died of leukemia, her mother, Virginia, remarried, and the family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and later to Darien, Connecticut.

She earned her associate of arts degree from Centenary College in New Jersey in 1961, then began her career in the programming department at CBS in New York. She worked as a script supervisor on Sid Caesar’s Show and Perry Como . Program and served for six years as Benny’s production partner until his death in December 1974.

Maffeo co-founded and serves on the board of directors of the Producers Guild of America and is a member of the DGA, Women in Film, Hollywood Radio & Television Society, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the PGA.

Survivors include her comrade, Kenneth; children Laura and Ken; daughter-in-law Elizabeth; and grandson Dante.

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