Comedy Writer Martin Ragaway

Martin Ragaway, an award-winning comedy writer whose work reaches back into radio's Golden Age and television's earliest years, has died at age 66.

The Emmy-winning writer (for "The Red Skelton Show" in the 1960-61 season) died Thursday afternoon of lung cancer at St. Vincent's Hospital in Los Angeles.

Ragaway's radio career encompassed "The Abbott and Costello Program," "The Fitch Bandwagon" with Phil Harris and Alice Faye, "County Fair" and "The Milton Berle Show."

On television he worked regularly for Skelton while winning Writers Guild of America honors for a 1968 special, "Alan King's Wonderful World of Aggravation" and a 1962 episode of "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

From 1977 through 1986 he helped write the annual Country Music Awards shows and several of the televised Entertainer of the Year awards.

His film credits date to 1949 with "Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town," "Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion," "The Milkman" and "Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair."

He is survived by a son and a daughter. A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park.

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