FROM CAMPAIGN US: News of comedian Garry Shandling’s death flooded the media on March 24th, with tributes aplenty touting the star of “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” But two other prominent individuals also passed away last week: writer and producer Earl Hamner, Jr., who created family drama “The Waltons,” and actor and SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard.
Four summers ago I had the opportunity to meet Hamner at a Warner Brother event at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. “The Waltons” was often criticized for being too sentimental,” he told me. “But we tackled many serious issues. And we did it through the eyes, and the hearts, of a family that loved and cared about each other. We may not have been hip or sexy, but there was a great hunger for this real family interaction. People wanted that sense of security.”
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