PASSINGS: Peter Meyerson, Fran Warren, Max Jakobson

Peter Meyerson

TV writer, producer worked on ‘The Monkees’ and ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’

Peter Meyerson, 81, a TV writer and producer who co-wrote the debut episodes of sitcom classics “The Monkees” and “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died March 11 at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. He was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and a heart condition, said his former wife Julia Russell.


For “The Monkees,” the 1966-68 comedy series featuring four Beatlesque band members, Meyerson collaborated with writing partner Robert Schlitt for the first episode and a handful more during the show’s run on NBC.

Meyerson is credited with developing “Welcome Back, Kotter” for television and worked as a writer, supervising producer and executive script consultant on the show, which aired on ABC from 1975 to ’79. Meyerson co-wrote the pilot, which introduced the Sweathogs — a group of smart-aleck students at a Brooklyn high school played by John Travolta, Robert Hegyes, Ron Palillo and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs — and their teacher Gabe Kotter, played by series co-creator Gabe Kaplan.

Meyerson’s other TV writing credits include scripts for “The Partridge Family,” “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Captain Nice,” a 1967 comedy created by Buck Henry.

Born July 12, 1931, in New York City, Meyerson grew up in the Bronx. He moved to Los Angeles after graduating from New York University in 1953 with a degree in English.

Meyerson and Russell had two sons, Benjamin and Jason, before divorcing. He had another son, Lucas, with his second wife, Max Goldenson. His third and final marriage was to Nurit Wilde.

Fran Warren

Singer and actress recorded ‘A Sunday Kind of Love’

Fran Warren, a singer and actress whose 1947 recording of “A Sunday Kind of Love” with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra became one of the classic hits of the big band era, died March 4 of natural causes at her home in Brookfield, Conn., according to publicist Alan Eichler. It was her 87th birthday.

Warren’s career spanned more than 50 years with hits that included the Tony Martin duet “I Said My Pajamas (and Put On My Prayers),” the Lisa Kirk duet “Dearie” and “It’s Anybody’s Heart.”

Warren frequently appeared and performed on the talk shows of Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Steve Allen. Her films roles included “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd.”

Born March 4, 1926, in the Bronx, N.Y., she sang for Thornhill, Art Mooney, Charlie Barnet, Billy Eckstine and other bandleaders.


Max Jakobson, a former Finnish journalist and diplomat who helped shape his country’s policy of neutrality during the Cold War, died March 9 of pneumonia in Helsinki, his family said. Jakobson was Finland’s ambassador to the United Nations from 1965 to 1971. He ran for the post of U.N. secretary general in 1971, but was defeated by Kurt Waldheim of Austria. He was 89.

— Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports