Gayle S. Maffeo, the three-time Emmy-nominated producer who worked on the first season of roseanne and all eight seasons of another hit ABC sitcom, the Tim Allen starring Renovation, has passed away. She was 81.
Maffeo died Friday at her home in Los Angeles after a brief battle with cancer, her daughter Laura announced.
Maffeo had produced specials with Frank Sinatra, Jack Benny and George Burns in the 1960s and 1970s before transitioning to sitcoms, including Nell Carter’s Give me a break!Dabney Coleman’s Buffalo BillMary Tyler Moore’s Maria, Head of the class and Open all night.
She served as senior vp of television for Matt Williams and David McFadzean’s Wind Dancer Productions, where she produced roseanne in 1988-89, Renovation from 1991-99 and other shows like Carol Burnett’s Carol & CompanyDan Aykroyd’s soul man, Thunder Alley and friends.
Maffeo, Williams, McFadzean and others shared Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series for their work on Renovation in 1992-94 but lost to Murphy Brown, Seinfeld and Frasier in successive years.
The second of three children, Gayle Arden Sickinger was born on April 29, 1941, in Evanston, Illinois. After her father, Kenneth, died of leukemia, her mother, Virginia, remarried and the family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and then Darien, Connecticut.
She received her arts degree from Centenary College in New Jersey in 1961, and then began her career in CBS’s programming department in New York. She worked as a script supervisor on The Sid Caesar Show and The Perry Como Show and served as Benny’s associate producer for six years until his death in December 1974.
Maffeo co-founded and served on the board of the American Association of Producers and was a member of the DGA, Women in Film, the Hollywood Radio & Television Society, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the PGA.
Survivors include her partner, Kenneth; children Laura and Ken; daughter-in-law Elizabeth; and grandson Dante.