Scriptwriter Burt Styler, who wrote two early first season episodes of M*A*S*H, passed away earlier this month at the age of 86. Styler wrote “To Market, To Market” and “Bananas, Crackers, and Nuts.” Although “To Market, To Market” was the second episode aired it was actually the third episode produced; nevertheless, Styler was in on the ground floor in terms of fleshing out characters and setting the tone for the series. He was one of only five writers to work on the first 13 episodes of the series.
According to the Internet Movie Database, Styler’s first writing credit was for a 1951 movie called Call Me Mister, which starred Betty Grable. By the late 1950s, he was working regularly on television, primarily on sitcoms like Margie, My Favorite Martian, Family Affair, The Brady Bunch and All in the Family. He won an Emmy in 1972 for an episode of All in the Family; interestingly, one of the other nominated episodes that year was another episode of All in the Family penned by Style, meaning he was competing against himself.
Styler was later nominated in 1977 and 1978 as part of the ensemble writing team for The Carol Burnett Show. He often worked with his late wife Adele. Again according to the Internet Movie Database, Styler’s last writing credit was for a 1989 episode of The Munsters Today. An obituary can be found at Variety.com.
(Thanks to Dan for passing along this news.)