Square Pegs creator and SNL writer Anne Beatts had died aged 74 (Picture: Getty/CBS)
Square Pegs creator Anne Beatts had died aged 74.
The former Saturday Night Live writer, who famously created some of the show’s earlier breakthrough characters, died on Wednesday as confirmed by her longtime friend Rona Edwards.
The news was also announced in a tweet by original SNL cast member Laraine Newman, who wrote: ‘Our Anne- an OG SNL writer passed away yesterday.’
Beatts began her career in comedy writing with a stint at National Lampoon magazine, becoming the Harvard Lampoon spin-off’s first female editor.
It was there she met and befriended Michael O’Donoghue and they soon joined the team that developed Lorne Michaels’ Saturday Night Live.
When it debuted in 1975, herself and then-writing partner Rosie Shuster were among the very few women to work on the sketch show.
Beatts was a pioneer in female comedy writing for TV (Picture: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for the 2019 Nantucket Film Festival )
She created beloved SNL characters such as nerdy high schoolers Todd and Lisa Lupner, Laraine Newman’s Child Psychiatrist, and Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute.
In 1982, she created CBS sitcom Square Pegs, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, which revolved around a group of awkward high school students.
A statement from her family read: ‘Anne is a pioneer in TV and comedy circles, as an early female comedy writer and the first female writer/editor on The National Lampoon, writer for Saturday Night Live. Amongst the many sketches she co-created the “Nerds” with her writing partner Rosie Shuster.
‘At SNL she was nominated for an Emmy five times, winning twice. She later won a Writer’s Guild Award in 2001. She created the cult hit 1982 CBS series Square Pegs. Anne Beatts wrote the book for the 1985 Ellie Greenwich jukebox musical Leader of the Pack, writer for Gilda Radner on Broadway, produced the first season of A Different World and executve produced The Stephanie Miller Show. She was co-editor of the of the first collection of women’s humor – Titters’
It continued: ‘In 2006, she co- directed/produced the series John Waters Presents Movies That Will Corrupt You with her writing and producing partner, Eve Brandstein for their B-Girls Productions.
‘Among pilots they wrote and produced – Amanda Bynes , No Place Like Home, Julie Brown The Show, The Belles of Bleeker Street. Pending new projects were The Girl In The Room, The Funny Boys ( Life at The National Lampoon) Beatts has served as Adjunct Professor in the Writing Division at the School of Cinematic Arts and recently a favorite professor at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts.’
She is survived by her daughter Jaylene Beatts, sister Barbara, brother Murray, and nieces Kate and Jennifer.