Gwen Dubov; Wrote for Radio, TV, Movies


Gwen Bagni Dubov, who wrote radio and television dramas as well as lighter entertainment, such as the popular 1968 movie “With Six You Get Eggroll,” has died.

A resident of North Hollywood, Dubov died Monday at Glendale Memorial Hospital after a brief illness. She was 88.

Dubov broke into screenwriting in the late 1930s, when it was rare to find a woman in the business. Raised in a vaudeville family that traveled throughout the Midwest, she moved to Hollywood in 1937 to become an actress and wound up as a secretary at Paramount Pictures, where she typed scripts for Robert Benchley, Preston Sturges and other writers.


Eventually she earned assignments to write for serial radio dramas such as “Suspense!” When live television arrived, she tackled the new medium, writing teleplays for “Playhouse 90,” “Climax” and “Four Star Theater” in projects that starred such actors as David Niven and Charles Boyer.

She won the award for best teleplay of 1953 from the Writers Guild for “The Last Voyage,” which she co-wrote with her actor-husband, John Bagni. He died in 1954.

In 1963, she married screenwriter Paul Dubov. They drew upon memories of their courtship to write a screenplay about a widow and widower whose children hamper their wedding plans. “With Six You Get Eggroll” was the last movie to feature Doris Day, whose co-star was Brian Keith. The Dubovs later wrote a novel based on the film.

In 1979, they won a Writers Guild award for “Backstairs at the White House,” a miniseries based on a book by Lillian Rogers Parks, who was a maid in the White House for 30 years. The project was a change of pace for Gwen Dubov, who told the New York Times in a 1983 interview that it was “the first time I had dealt with a real-life situation.”

A critic for Newsweek magazine praised the program, which was nominated for an Emmy and featured Leslie Uggams, Claire Bloom and Robert Vaughn as “richly textured history and captivating drama.” The Dubovs’ novel based on the miniseries became a bestseller.

The Dubovs also wrote the pilot episode of “The Mod Squad,” a crime series that aired on ABC from 1968 to 1973, and wrote and produced “Shirley,” a 1979 comedy-drama that starred Shirley Jones.

Their other credits included episodes of such popular 1960s shows as “Gunsmoke” and “Burke’s Law.” Paul Dubov died in 1979.

After his death, Gwen Dubov continued to work on projects such as the TV movie “Eight Is Enough: Reunion,” which aired in 1987. She was a frequent contributor to the ABC series starring Dick Van Patten on which the movie was based.

Dubov is survived by four children and three grandchildren. Donations may be made to the Motion Picture Relief Fund.