“Remembering Martin Starger: How this Hollywood genius shaped your favorite TV moments!”


Martin Starger died on Saturday, his niece, casting director Ilene Starger confirmed. He was the first president and producer of ABC Entertainment, who created hit shows such as Happy DaysRoots. Starger passed away from natural causes at his Los Angeles residence, according to . He was 92.

Ilene described him as “a brilliant, stylish, and remarkable man.” He had a great sense of style and, in a very personal way, he felt like a father because his older brother died suddenly when I became a teenager.


Starger, born in the Bronx on May 8,1932, was drafted in the U.S. Army and assigned to Signal Corps Motion Picture Location in 1953. Starger was a motion-picture photographer at the Signal Corps Pictorial Center – the Army’s film production studio. After being transferred to Honolulu he wrote, directed and photographed documentaries, features and newsreels for television and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Starger began his career in New York as a vice president at BBDO, an advertising agency. He then moved to ABC in 1969. He was the first president and CEO of ABC Entertainment from 1972 to 1975. He was responsible for the development of the ABC network’s Movie of the Week series, as well as hit miniseries like Rich Man Poor Man and Roots, and popular shows such Marcus Welby M.D. And Happy Days.

Starger began his production career while still working at ABC. Robert Altman’s Nashville, released in 1975, was the film that launched his career. Starger executive-produced the film alongside Jerry Weintraub. Later, he founded Marstar Productions and produced or produced the TV films Friendly Fire, Escape From Sobibor All Quiet on the Western Front The Merchant of Venice and The Elephant Man. As a producer or executive, his film credits include Movie Movie on Golden Pond, The Muppet Movie The Great Muppet Caper Autumn Sonata Sophie’s Choice and Mask.

Starger’s niece is the only survivor.


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