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Maynard C. Virgil

Maynard Virgil, who started a four-decade career in television in Cincinnati and later worked on some of America's most popular shows in California, died of a heart attack July 18 at his home near Los Angeles. He was 59.

Mr. Virgil was a stage manager or assistant director on shows, here including "Bob Braun 50/50 Club" and the "Paul Dixon Show." Once he moved to California he worked on shows including the "Cosby Show," "A Different World" and the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

"He enjoyed working with people," said his sister Jacquelyn Virgil of Silverton. "He wanted to do something that was out of the ordinary for our family. He really loved it."

Born the youngest of eight children, Mr. Virgil graduated from Woodward High School and earned an associate's degree in retail marketing from the University of Cincinnati. He also took some classes at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Ky.

He started in television as a stage manager with Avco Broadcasting before moving to WLWT-TV and working on some of the region's high-profile shows.

He moved to California in the late 1980s and worked on some shows with famed producer Norman Lear, including "The Jeffersons."

"He loved working with Norman Lear," Jacquelyn Virgil said. "He wanted to eventually get into producing. He worked with sitcoms. Once reality TV started, that slowed things down."

More recently, Mr. Virgil was working with several music groups from a recording studio in his California home.

Outside of work, he coached youth basketball and enjoyed swimming and skiing, his sister said.

Jacquelyn Virgil said her brother's death was a shock.

"We still can't believe it," she said. "In the baby brother, you're not looking for that."

Mr. Virgil was preceded in death by his brother, Robert, and his parents, Robert and Alma Virgil.

In addition to his sister, survivors include five sons, Maynard Virgil II of Los Angeles, Jordan Wood of Atlanta, Kevin Wood of Plano, Texas, Marcus Buchanan of Los Angeles and Ethan Virgil of Oklahoma; a daughter, Jasmine Virgil of Los Angeles; five other sisters, Janet Anderson of Silverton, Alice Jean Williams of Kennedy Heights, Shirley Colemon of Kenwood, Barbara Tipper of Silverdale, Wash., and Delores Norman of Port Royal, S.C.; and many grandchildren.

Funeral services have been held.

The family will host a visitation 6 p.m. Sunday at Greater Liberty Baptist Church, 6209 Desmond Ave., Madisonville, with a funeral service to follow at 7:30 p.m. Burial will be 10 a.m. Monday at Rest Haven Memorial Park in Blue Ash.

Written by Cliff Peale | cpeale@enquirer.com

Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer from July 27 to July 28, 2011
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