Marty Krofft, Colorful Producer of ‘H.R. Pufnstuf,’ Dies at 86

Marty Krofft, who with his brother Sid produced memorable kids shows “H.R. Pufnstuf” and “Land of the Lost” — as well as the 2009 feature based on the latter — has died. He was 86.

Krofft died of kidney failure Saturday in Los Angeles, Calif., a family representative told Variety.

Often referred to as the King of Saturday Mornings, Krofft and his brother also produced a number of primetime variety shows, including “Donny and Marie” and “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters.”

Sid and Marty Krofft began their careers producing children’s television with “H.R. Pufnstuf,” a live-action program about a boy (played by British actor Jack Wild) in a fantastic land with a dragon for a friend (H.R. Pufnstuf, voiced by Lennie Weinrib) and a witch — Witchiepoo, played by Billie Hayes — for an enemy; as conceptualized, the show followed the interactions between human actors; actors in colorful, oversized costumes; and life-size puppets with enormous heads.

The Kroffts were proudly independent producers of children’s shows that were uniquely stylish and creative. From the early 1960s through their heyday, the brothers operated a production outpost in the San Fernando Valley where they built sets, props and designed costumes for their shows as well as others, including some sets used during the first two seasons of CBS’ “All in the Family.”

The brothers made the most of the low budgets had they usually had to work with by repurposing characters for other spinoff series and creating shows that hewed to a similar formula. The exceptionally vivid colors that were a hallmark of their designs led some to wonder whether the Kroffts were influenced by the use of LSD, but Marty Krofft repeatedly denied such speculation.

(Excerpt) Read more in: Variety

Marty Krofft, Colorful Producer of ‘H.R. Pufnstuf,’ Dies at 86

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