The success in both Britain and America of two 1960s television series, Dr Kildare and The Man from UNCLE, was largely due to the London-born producer Norman Felton.
After graduating from the University of Iowa, Felton worked first in the theatre before moving to radio and then, in 1950, television production. He won an Emmy in 1952 for directing an episode of Robert Montgomery Presents (1950-57), a live NBC show initially offering hour-long dramas adapted from successful Hollywood movies, but later moving into more varied territory.
Felton helped to develop Dr Kildare, which ran to 190 episodes between 1961 and 1966. The series centres on a young medical graduate, played by the dashing Richard Chamberlain, who works in a large hospital, dealing with his patients’ problems and earning the respect of a senior doctor, played by Raymond Massey.
From 1964 to 1968, Felton was the executive producer of The Man from UNCLE, which followed the exploits of two secret agents, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. Before work started on the series – this one running to 105 episodes – Felton contacted Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, who contributed towards the programme’s concept.
During the course of its run, the show garnered no fewer than seven Emmies and five Golden Globe awards.
Felton, who was born on April 29, 1913, died in the Californian city of Santa Barbara on June 25, aged 99.
Richard Anthony Baker
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