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Jeff Harris, 68; Producer of TV’s ‘Roseanne’ Also Was a Director, Writer

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Jeff Harris, 68, a television producer, director and writer whose credits ranged from “The Steve Allen Comedy Hour” to “Roseanne,” died of emphysema Monday) at his home in East Hampton, N.Y.

A native of Brooklyn, Harris graduated from New York’s High School of Performing Arts and became an actor who earned parts in Broadway productions and such early TV dramas as “Kraft Playhouse” and “Studio One.” He later wrote for cabaret performers and off-Broadway reviews, including “Another Evening with Harry Stoones,” the 1961 production that featured a 19-year-old Barbra Streisand.

In 1967, Harris moved to Los Angeles, where he would focus his career on television. In addition to the Steve Allen show, he produced series for Jimmy Durante and the Lennon Sisters, the Everly Brothers, Milton Berle and Roseanne Barr.

In 1990, after a season of clashes with the notoriously temperamental Barr, Harris took out a full-page ad in the entertainment trade paper Daily Variety addressed to the cast and crew, in which he announced that instead of returning for another season, “My wife and I have decided to share a vacation in the peace and quiet of Beirut.”

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