Jonathan Axelrod, ABC and Columbia Exec, ‘Dave’s World’ Executive Producer, Dies at 74

Jonathan Axelrod, a studio and network executive and television producer and writer, died June 13 in Los Angeles. His ex-wife, television director Katy Garretson, reported his death. He was 74.

Born in New York City, Axelrod moved to Beverly Hills when he was nine, and his father George Axelrod was nominated for an Oscar for penning the screenplay for 1961’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

He partnered with director John Frankenheimer, who he met as a teenager on the set of his father’s film “The Manchurian Candidate,” to produce TV movies like “Against the Wall.” In the later years of his career, Axelrod produced over two dozen movies for the Hallmark Channel.

His other producing credits include the series “Can’t Hurry Love,” “Brothers Keeper” and “Garage Sale Mysteries.”

Axelrod founded and served as president of talent agency Camden Artists, and later was president of New World Pictures and Columbia Pictures Television. He also served as senior vice president of Prime-Time Development and VP of drama at ABC.

He produced for Axelrod/Widdoes Entertainment, with actor-director Jamie Widdoes, as well as Axelrod/Edwards with writer-executive Kelly Edwards.

He was previously married to Garretson, actors Illeana Douglas and Shelley Smith.

He is survived by his son Samuel. A private memorial service will be held in New York, where his extended family members reside.

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