Producer and puppeteer Marty Krofft, of Land of the Lost and H.R. Pufnstuf, passed away at the age of 86. The legendary children’s television host passed away in Los Angeles on Saturday due to kidney failure, according to Krofft’s family.
Along with The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, Sigmund, The Bugaloos, Lidsville, the Sea Monsters, and most recently, Nickelodeon’s Mutt & Stuff (2015), Marty Krofft and his younger brother Sid collaborated on several shows beginning in the 1960s.
Known as the “King of Saturday Mornings,” Marty and his brother Sid were puppeteers who transitioned into producers, changing the face of children’s television with their elaborate dolls and puppets.
The two were also responsible for the primetime variety shows “Donny and Marie” and “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters,” as well as the beloved series “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters” and “D.C. Follies.”
The Krofft brothers, who were raised by puppeteers and were born in Canada, continued their family’s tradition by creating an adult-only puppet show in California.
When they were asked to create costumes for The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, they made their television debut. The psychedelic Saturday morning program H.R. Pufnstuf, which was based on an island with a dragon as the mayor, came next.
The agent for Marty Krofft stated that the movie’s success led to the production of a feature film, which was distributed and partnered with Universal Pictures.
In the 1970s, Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures rose to fame, which paved the way for them to produce and develop family and children’s programming for over 50 years.
The National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences awarded the Kroffts the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 2018.
On Saturday night, Sid honored his brother with a post on Instagram.
Sid expressed in his letter how devastated he was to lose his younger brother. He continued by saying that he was well aware of how important everyone was to his brother. He told the crowd that they were the ones who had brought this all about. He expressed his gratitude to them for supporting him over the years.
Marty once claimed to The Hollywood Reporter that they had altered the minds of all children. He continued by saying that Disney lacked an edge and that the colors had a Krofft-like quality.
Together, Sid and Marty—who was considered the creative wizard and the operation’s business whiz—also produced traveling live shows and a theme park.
Marty was born in Montreal on April 9, 1937. His parents are Russian, and he is the youngest of their four brothers.
In the 1940s, Sid developed a popular puppet show that went on tour all over the world and eventually got him a job in vaudeville. Marty eventually joined Sid in Hollywood in the 1950s, having followed suit in New York using his brother’s old puppets.
They debuted “Les Poupees de Paris,” a puppet show with an adult theme, at a Los Angeles dinner club in 1961. On opening night, the audience included Liberace, Richard Nixon, and Mae West. Their skills led them to the television industry, where they established themselves as two of the most active producers for many years.
Marty Krofft And Sid Opened An Amusement Park In Atlanta
Driven by imagination and lofty aspirations, the Krofft brothers aspired for their TV characters to exist beyond traditional television boundaries. They established an amusement park in Atlanta in 1976 under the name The Omni. It could be an understatement to say that it is fantastical.
The Atlanta History Center states that upon entering “The World of Sid and Marty Krofft,” guests rode an eight-story escalator and encountered costumed actors, a carousel, and a ride that involved sitting in a human-sized pinball and bouncing through a course.
Everything was very hip and exciting until the park closed down a few months later for various reasons. But in Atlanta, the Kroffts continue to exist.