Marlo Lewis, who co-created television's landmark "Toast of the Town" program with Ed Sullivan, for whom the variety show was later named, has died. He was 77.
He died Tuesday of heart failure at his retirement home in Rancho Mirage.
Lewis and Sullivan began the long-running television classic in 1948. They later shared the George Foster Peabody award for humanitarian activities.
Lewis, who also won three Emmys, was an executive producer for variety and comedy shows for CBS and helped launch "The Jackie Gleason Show," "The Dinah Shore Show" and "The Phil Silvers Show." The producer was a founder of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Last year he was elected to the Television Producers Hall of Fame.
The son of a concert pianist and an opera singer, Lewis was precocious, conducting a symphony orchestra when he was 9.
In his early 20s he became an executive of the Blaine Thompson Advertising Agency, where he, along with his wife, Mina Bess, created and produced a daily radio talk show, "Luncheon at Sardi's."
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two children and four grandchildren.