Ex-Fox chief William Self dead

MUMBAI: Hollywood actor turned producer and executive William Self who transformed 20th Century Fox into a top television supplier of the 1960s expire after suffering a heart attack recently. He was 89.

At Fox for fifteen years, Self headed groundbreaking series like Peyton Place, the first primetime soap opera; Batman, the first series based on a comic book to air in primetime, Julia, the first weekly series to star an African-American woman and M*A*S*H.

He also produced the pilot for The Twilight Zone in the late 1950s during the first of his two stints at CBS, and his company produced The Shootist (1976), John Wayne‘s final film.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Self appeared as an actor in more than two dozen films from 1949-53, including I Was a Male War Bride (1949), Operation Pacific (1951), The Thing From Another World (1951) and Pat and Mike (1952). Along the way, he forged a friendship with Spencer Tracy.

Self then turned to production and made more than 200 episodes of Schlitz Playhouse of Stars as well as The Frank Sinatra Show in 1957. He later joined CBS as a program executive, then moved to Fox.

Other notable Fox series under his watch were Daniel Boone, Twelve O‘Clock High, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, The Green Hornet, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Land of the Giants and Room 222.

Self was eventually named president of 20th Century Fox Television and then vice-president of 20th Century Fox Film Corp.

He exited Fox in 1975 to partner with Mike Frankovich. Their short-lived arrangement produced The Shootist as well as From Noon Till Three (1976), starring Charles Bronson.
Self is survived by his daughter Barbara; son Edwin; sister Jean; four grandchildren; and six great grandchildren.

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