Marty Krofft, Visionary of Children’s TV, Dies at 86

Television Pioneer Marty Krofft Leaves Lasting Impact.

by Nouman Rasool
Marty Krofft, Visionary of Children’s TV, Dies at 86
© David Livingston/GettyImages

Marty Krofft, a legendary figure in children's television, passed away on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles at the age of 86. His death, caused by kidney failure, was confirmed by his publicist, B. Harlan Boll. Krofft, surrounded by loved ones during his final moments, leaves behind a legacy that reshaped the landscape of children's programming.

Together with his brother, Sid Krofft, Marty forged a unique path in television history. The Krofft brothers, renowned for their innovative puppet shows, made a seismic impact on the 1970s children's TV scene. Their breakthrough came when NBC commissioned them to create a Saturday morning children's series, leading to the creation of “H.R.

Pufnstuf”. This show, initially a character in their live performances, quickly became a fan favorite, catapulting the Kroffts to fame and leading to a feature film partnership with Universal Pictures.

Krofft's Creative Legacy

Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures, their production company, became synonymous with family entertainment, producing over 50 years of beloved children’s and family shows.

Marty, often hailed as the “King of Saturday Mornings,” played a pivotal role in creating iconic shows such as “The Bugaloos,” “Lidsville,” and “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters”.

Their creative genius extended to a wide range of series, including “Pryor’s Place,” “Far Out Space Nuts,” and the groundbreaking “D.C. Follies,” a satirical series featuring life-size puppets of famous personalities like Richard Nixon and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Kroffts' influence wasn't confined to children's programming. They made significant contributions to primetime television, with shows like “Donny & Marie” and “The Brady Bunch Hour”. Their flair for entertainment led Marty to produce “Comedy Kings,” a series of live shows for the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Their remarkable contributions to television were acknowledged with numerous awards, including the Lifetime Career Award at the 2003 Saturn Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2018. In 2020, they were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, celebrating their Golden Anniversary in the industry.

Marty's recent accolade, the Annual Julie Award at the 2023 Dragon Con, further cements his status as an icon in entertainment. He is survived by his brothers Harry and Sid, daughters Deanna, Kristina, and Kendra, five grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

Marty Krofft's passing marks the end of an era in children's television, but his imaginative spirit will continue to inspire generations to come.