Richard C. Leach, 73, a Texas businessman who bankrolled the creation of "Barney," the purple dinosaur, died Tuesday of complications from a heart attack at Baylor Medical Center in Irving, Texas.
In 1988, Leach backed his daughter-in-law, Sheryl Stamps Leach, who was trying to create a character to entertain her 2-year-old child. Leach committed $700,000 to the project and his daughter-in-law and a friend teamed with a video producer to develop the Barney Home Video Series. For PBS, Leach also produced the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series "Wishbone."
Born in Chicago, Leach moved to Dallas in the 1980s and later formed Lyrick Studios to produce children's television. His firm reportedly had revenue in 1998 of more than $100 million from TV shows, home videos, audio, toys, books and the film "Barney's Great Adventure." Earlier this year, Leach sold Lyrick to HIT Entertainment.