Emmy Winner, SNL writer Anne Beatts passes

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Emmy Award winner and Saturday Night Live writer, Anne Beatts passed away on April 7, 2021. She was 74.

Beatts was born in 1947 in Buffalo, New York and began her career in comedy writing at National Lampoon magazine, becoming the Harvard Lampoon spin-off’s first female editor. 

During her time at National Lampoon, she met Michael O’Donoghue, and the two would soon take part in the development of Lorne Michaels’ Saturday Night Live.

During the first five seasons of Saturday Night Live, Beatts and her writing partner Rosie Shuster created such foundational SNL characters as DiLaMuca and Loopner (played by Bill Murray and Gilda Radner), Laraine Newman’s Shirley Temple-like Child Psychiatrist, the lecherous Uncle Roy (Buck Henry) and two of Dan Aykroyd’s greatest hits: the cartoonishly sleazy salesman Irwin Mainway and Fred Garvin, the unlikely, schlubby male prostitute.

Anne Beatts was Emmy-nominated five times for SNL, winning twice.

In addition to SNL, Beatts created and produced the television show Square Pegs in 1982 a character-driven sitcom about skinny Patty Greene and brace-faced Lauren Hutchinson, two bright but nerdy Weemawee High School freshmen who make doomed attempts to join the “in” crowd. The series was cancelled after only 20 episodes. 

After Square Pegs, Beatts co-executive-produced the first season of NBC’s A Different World and in 1995 exec-produced the syndicated The Stephanie Miller Show.

Beatts wrote the 1979 one-woman show Gilda Radner – Live From New York, for Broadway, and rewrote early drafts of the book for the 1985 Ellie Greenwich jukebox musical Leader of the Pack

In 2006, Beatts co-directed/produced the series John Waters Presents Movies That Will Corrupt You with her writing and producing partner Eve Brandstein for their B-Girls Productions. Among pilots Beatts and Brandstein wrote and produced were Julie Brown: The Show and The Belles of Bleecker Street. Pending new projects were The Girl In The Room (about women in professional comedy) and The Funny Boys (Life at The National Lampoon).

Beatts reportedly was involved in the development of a new Blues Brothers project with Aykroyd and Judy Belushi, John Belushi’s widow and is credited as the creator of Animal House: The Animated Series. She was an Adjunct Professor in the Writing Division at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, as well as at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.

Her death was announced in a tweet by SNL original cast member Laraine Newman. A cause of death has not been disclosed.

Anne is survived by daughter Jaylene Beatts, sister Barbara, brother Murray, and nieces Kate and Jennifer.