July 30, 2009 / 3:35 AM / 10 years ago

"Galactica" producer Harvey Frand dies at 68

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Harvey Frand, an Emmy-winning producer who was the “man behind the curtain” on the Syfy hit “Battlestar Galactica,” died July 23 in Los Angeles after a brief hospitalization for respiratory problems. He was 68.

Frand’s series-producing career began in 1982 with “The Devlin Connection,” Rock Hudson’s final series. Other credits include 34 episodes of the 1985-89 version of “The Twilight Zone,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Young Riders,” “The Lazarus Man,” “The Pretender” and “Strange World.” He produced more than 20 pilots and movies of the week.

Frand began on “Galactica” in 2003. For his work on the show, he earned a Peabody Award in 2005, an AFI Award in 2006 and an Emmy last year. This month, he was nominated for a second Emmy.

“Harvey was the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain, the train engineer, the orchestra conductor, the school guidance counselor,” NBC Universal executive Todd Sharp said. “He was adored by executive producers and production assistants, studio and network, cast and crew.”

Added writer-producer Bradley Thompson: “In addition to finding a way to put every dime on the screen, he was an exceptional judge of material. He knew what we needed to tell our stories and never compromised on that. But he would constantly challenge us to find creative ways to make the piece work within the constraints of physical and financial reality. And if he felt we needed that something extra ... say a nuclear explosion or two ... to make the story play, he’d go to the mat to make it happen.”

A native of Philadelphia, Frand began in television at NBC News. Later, as an executive at Warner Bros., he oversaw production on “Harry O,” the 1973 series starring David Janssen. Frand went to San Diego to check in with the company and, because there was no on-site producer, stayed to work with the cast and crew. After that, he was hooked on the role of producer.

Frand also produced the 1974-75 Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ “Sweet Bird of Youth” starring Christopher Walken and Irene Worth, who won a best actress Tony for her performance.

Frand is survived by Bill Bowersock, his domestic partner of 32 years. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles’ Alive Music Project.

Editing by SheriLinden at Reuters

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