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Don Fedderson, Producer of TV’s ‘My Three Sons,’ ‘Family Affair’

December 21, 1994 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Donald Fedderson, producer of television shows ranging from ″My Three Sons″ and ″Family Affair″ to the musical programs of Liberace and Lawrence Welk, is dead at 81.

Fedderson died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Sunday after a long illness stemming from heart problems, family spokesman Ward Grant said Tuesday.

Fedderson formed his own television company in 1953 and signed Liberace to a contract that put him before a nationwide TV audience. It was one of several shows starring the flamboyant pianist on network and syndicated TV.


Fedderson also produced the syndicated series ″Life With Elizabeth″ starring Betty White in 1953-54, ″The Millionaire″ with Marvin Miller on CBS from 1955-60, and ″A Date With Angels,″ again with Miss White, on ABC in 1957-58.

Fedderson’s company became TV consultants to bandleader Welk in 1954 and put him on ABC from 1955-71, then syndicated the program widely until 1982.

Fedderson also delved successfully into game shows.

He produced ″Do You Trust Your Wife″ with Edgar Bergen as host of the primetime quiz show on CBS from 1956 to 1957. It then switched to ABC as a daytime show called ″Who Do You Trust?″ starring Johnny Carson, who was joined in 1958 by sidekick Ed McMahon. The future ″Tonight Show″ duo left in 1962, and the show, which by then sported a ″Whom″ instead of a ″Who″ in its title, ran through 1963 with host Woody Woodbury.

″My Three Sons″ was created in 1960 starring Fred MacMurray. The show ran for five years on ABC and seven more years on CBS.

″Family Affair,″ starring Brian Keith as a substitute father for a nephew and two nieces, and Sebastian Cabot as his servant, ran on CBS from 1966-71.

Fedderson produced ″The Smith Family,″ an ABC series starring Henry Fonda as a detective from 1971-72, and ″To Rome With Love,″ with John Forsythe, on CBS from 1969-71.

Fedderson was born April 16, 1913, in Beresford, S.D. His family moved to Kansas, where he worked on the business and advertising staffs of The Wichita Eagle and Wichita Beacon newspapers.

In 1942 he became an account executive of the San Francisco News and then sales manager of San Francisco radio station KYA, rising to president and general manager and collecting a Peabody Award for a program he developed.


Los Angeles radio station KTMR was added to his charge when the New York Post bought it and KYA. KTMR became KLAC and added a television broadcast in 1948. Fedderson was in charge of radio and TV broadcasts for five years.

Fedderson is survived by his wife, Yvonne Lime Fedderson, and seven children, Dionne Joy Fedderson of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Dana Fedderson of Newport Beach, Calif.; Darr Fedderson of Lake Oswego, Ore.; Gregg Fedderson of Hawaii; Monya Clenard of Los Angeles; Mike Minor of New York City; and Brian Schmidt of Los Angeles.

A funeral service was scheduled for Wednesday at Forest Lawn Glendale.