Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hollywood Loses Legend Aaron Ruben

Early on in our TV careers, while working at "Matlock," we had the pleasure to meet a legendary Hollywood writer, Aaron Ruben. 

More often than not the talented men and women behind the cameras in entertainment go unnoticed. In fact, you might not know his name - but you should. He was a writer, producer, and sometimes director on shows like "The Andy Griffith Show," "Sanford and Son," "Too Close for Comfort," and, of course, "Matlock."  

He started his career in radio writing for Dinah Shore, Burns & Allen, and Milton Berle. Then when a new medium called television came around, Ruben transitioned to the small screen - writing, producing, and directi
ng "spectaculars" and series for stars like Danny Thomas, Phil Silvers, and Sid Caesar.

But when Ruben met Andy Griffith, everything changed - for him, Andy, and television fans everywhere. In 1960, Aaron's agents at William Morris showed him three TV pilots and told him that he could choose any one to produce. Wisely, he realized that "The Andy Griffith Show" was the clear cut winner. And so began a lifetime friendship and working collaborations between Aaron and Andy.

Sadly, Aarron Ruben died on January 30 in Beverly Hills from complications of pneumonia. He was 95-years-old.

In 1999, Ruben sat down for a four-and-a-half hour interview with Morrie Gelman for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Archive of American Television and talked about his career. It's more captivating than just about anything you'll see on TV tonight. Take some time to honor Aaron Ruben and hear his story.

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