The Emmy-nominated writer and producer Charlie Hauck (Maude, Frasier) died of pancreatic cancer last week at the age of 79, according to Variety. He worked on the well-known CBS series Maude for three seasons as both a writer and producer and eventually earned an Emmy nomination for his work in co-creating and writing the ABC series The Associates.
Hauck moved to Pittsburgh and worked as a reporter in 1963, following his graduation from John Carroll University. His debut into the entertainment industry was made by his role as a TV reporter and anchor at Pittsburgh’s WQED, as well as working on a PBS special on alcoholism entitled Drink, Drank, Drunk. After moving to Los Angeles in 1974, Hauck maintained his contacts from the East Coast, including that of Michael Keaton (Batman), who worked alongside him at WQED. In a statement, Keaton recounted his time with Hauck.
“Charlie was one of the first people who opened the door for me….I was about a month away from moving to New York, and Charlie said, ‘I think you ought to think about Los Angeles.’ And I’ll never forget the expression he used. He said ‘It’s wide open out here.’ I thought, ‘Yeah I’ll come out,’ and I never thought I’d stay, and I just never left,” via Variety.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that Hauck began working with fellow Maude producer Elliot Shoenman (The Cosby Show) on the ABC comedy series starring Tim Allen (Last Man Standing), Home Improvement. In 2000, he joined the team of NBC’s Frasier, thus receiving his second Emmy nomination as a producer.
When asked about writing in a 1993 interview with The Washington Post, Hauck answered, “I think it is fair to look at something and say, ‘I could do that….The tricky thing about television is it is sort of like marksmanship: you say, ‘I could do that,’ but not everybody can. As self-referential and formulaic and sappy as a lot of TV seems, even on the lower levels it is kind of difficult to do. On the higher levels – a good show on a good night – television can be quite exquisite and very difficult,” via Variety.
Hauck is survived by his partner Logan Dalla Betta, daughter named Flannery, sons named Maurice, Seth, and Perry, sister named Maryanne Straub, and grandchild named Natasha.