Dee Caruso, Writer of Classic ’60s Sitcoms, is Dead

Dee Caruso wrote episodes of "Get Smart" (top left), "Gilligan's Island" and "The Monkees" (Photos: Getty, AP)

Dee Caruso, a prolific TV comedy writer who worked on such classic sitcoms as “Get Smart,” “The Monkees” and “Gilligan’s Island,” has died.

Caruso died in Los Angeles last week of pneumonia, according to this story in The Hollywood Reporter. He was 83.

The THR obit tells a story that was typical in that era for comedy writers who found their way into sitcom writing. A writer would often start his or her career working for a specific comedian or performer.

In the case of Caruso, he had worked as a writer for comedian Don Adams before “Get Smart,” but that connection doubtlessly helped him rise to become head writer on the show — along with writing partner Gerald Gardner.

Adams, of course, played secret agent Maxwell Smart on the well-remembered spy spoof that was co-created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. Caruso wrote 22 episodes of “The Monkees” and wrote for Bill Cosby, Red Skelton and the Smothers Brothers.

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