Television producer and UCLA friend Paul Junger Witt died on April 27, 2018. He was 77 years old. His generosity to UCLA included gifts to the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology and the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
Witt was born in New York City and graduated from the University of Virginia. He joined forces with producer Tony Thomas, son of the late Danny Thomas, to form Witt/Thomas Productions, producing such shows as Blossom and the original Beauty and the Beast series. In 1983, Witt married writer-producer Susan Harris, creator of NBC’s The Golden Girls, and the company expanded as Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions, producing the popular sitcoms Soap, Benson, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest and many more. In addition to his TV work, Witt produced films, including Dead Poet’s Society, which earned Oscar nominations for best picture, best actor and best director, and won for best original screenplay.
As a dedicated environmentalist, Witt served as a member of the California State Park and Recreation Commission for 16 years. He is survived by his wife Susan Harris and five children