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Emmet Lavery Jr.

Obituary Condolences


Emmet G. Lavery, Jr., 86, television executive and producer, died in Encino, California, on February 16th, of natural causes.

Lavery was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on August 10, 1927. His father was a New York lawyer and newspaperman who became one of the most illustrious playwrights and screenwriters of his day. The elder Lavery wrote such early Broadway hits as The Magnificient Yankee, The First Legion and a score of major motion pictures. He was president of the Screenwriters Guild from 1945 to 1947.

Lavery attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, Mass., served in the Army in 1945-46, and was graduated from UCLA in 1950. He earned his law degree from UCLA Law School in 1953 and was admitted to the California bar in 1954.

He specialized in entertainment law as a partner in the firm of Fink, Levinthal and Lavery from 1954 to 1960, then operated his own law office until 1963.

Tapped by former NBC President Sylvester "Pat" Weaver, Lavery joined the maverick Subscription Television (STV) as Vice President and resident counsel, against odds of pay-TV success which even drew proposals for a constitutional amendment against subscription TV. STV's premiere broadcast on July 17, 1963, marked the first time any baseball had been sent by closed-circuit into a residence of any kind.

In 1965, Lavery was named Director of Business Affairs at 20th Century Fox Television, moving to Paramount Television as Vice-President of Business Affairs in February, 1967.

Forming Emmet G. Lavery Jr. Productions in 1975, Lavery produced several successful made-for television movies including Delancey Street, Serpico television series, The Ghost Of Flight 401, Act of Violence, and Nero Wolfe. In 1981, Lavery joined DLT Entertainment as Vice President of Business Affairs until his retirement in 2010.

Lavery is survived by daughter Tracy, son Geoffrey, and sister Elizabeth L. Taylor.

Services will be held at Our Lady of Grace Church in Encino at 10:00 am on Monday, February 24th, followed by burial at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to his favored charities Los Angeles Mission & Anne Douglas Center for Women, and/or to University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine & Center for Companion Animal Health.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Feb. 22, 2014
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