Legendary TV producer Reg Grundy, whose production company blazed a trail of iconic Australian TV productions has died, aged 92.
“Reg Grundy has passed away in the arms of his beloved wife Joy on their Bermuda estate,” Alan Jones said on 2GB radio on Monday.
Grundy was responsible for a swathe of hit shows including The Young Doctors, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters, Neighbours, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud and Sale of the Century.
Across generations it was Grundy Productions, which would eventually become Fremantle Media, and Crawford Productions that dominated Australian TV production.
News of his death comes a day after Australian TV’s ‘night of nights’, the Logie Awards.
He once described Prisoner as a personal highlight, and the show that opened the doors to him in the US.
“It was an extraordinary show and we had some marvellous, marvellous performances from some of the women in the show.”
He said Kylie Minogue was reluctant to acknowledge Neighbours when her pop career was taking off.
“She went on to great success and I applaud that. But she said that we couldn’t use the tapes, because she didn’t want us to use them. And we said ‘No. We own the tapes,’ and she had to accept it,” he said.
But in 2010 he told A Current Affair TV had changed a lot since his day.
“Shows are put on and taken off almost overnight,” he said.
“Doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t people with heart and instinct there, but I think that money is more important and it probably has to be because of the financial situations.”
Tim Worner, CEO, Seven West Media said, “All of us in television owe a deep thank you to Reg Grundy. In many respects he was ahead of his time, a true pioneer who broke new ground in television and developed and nurtured the careers of so many in front of and behind the camera, and took Australian television to the world.”
Tracy Grimshaw, who interviewed in 2010 him, said, “Like so many Australians, I grew up with Reg Grundy’s vision, without having a clue about the man behind the ubiquitous productions. RG (he didn’t like being called Reg) was a pioneer in game shows, in drama, in soapies. He was a star maker. But he totally rejected the limelight. He only gave one television interview in his life, and I was privileged and fascinated to be one who spoke with him. He was shy talking about himself…but not reticent. He remembered everything. He remained passionate about television and emotional about the company he had finally decided to sell some years before. He was a pioneer of our industry. And a devoted husband to Joy, who will be feeling his loss so deeply today. Vale RG. And thanks.”
A Current Affair will replay an interview this evening.
Reg Grundy is already an inductee in the Logie Hall of Fame.