Creator of such Australian television classics as Neighbours, Prisoner, and Wheel of Fortune“, Reg Grundy has passed away aged 92. Passing at his home in Bermuda, his wife Joy Chambers was by his side when he died, a spokeswoman said.
Best known for producing some of the country’s best-loved game shows such as Wheel of Fortune and Blankety Blanks, Grundy also moved successfully into drama, creating shows like The Young Doctors, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters, and of course Neighbours“.
Forming RG Capital with his wife Joy Chambers, who acted in several of his programs, the duo went on to work on projects in media and advertising around the world.
Television legend Bert Newton paid tribute to the late Grundy, saying that “away from the cameras and away from production Reg was a very affable person, wonderful sense of humor.”
Friends since 1959, Newton said of Grundy’s knack for television success that “whilst there were already a couple of panel shows and quiz shows on the air, he just had this indefinable ability to know which ones were going to be successful and how to make them a success.
“He went from an Australian producer, probably small-time would be the best description, to being a major producer around the world, especially in the key areas of the Unites States and England but also of course remaining one of the top producers in Australia.”
Radio Broadcaster and friend of Grundy Alan Jones, broke the news of his death on his Sydney radio program. “So ends a remarkable chapter of a great Australian,” Jones said on 2GB.
“Television came and Reg Grundy was full of ideas. He tried to sell them to Channel Nine in Sydney but he got the sack, so he went to QTQ in Brisbane where he continued to produce game shows.
“Reg Grundy, with ideas running right through his head, produced Until Tomorrow, Class of ’74, Young Doctors, Restless Years, Prisoner, Sons and Daughters, Waterloo Station, Neighbours and of course then produced Abba: The Movie, which opened in 1977 and it went on, building a phenomenal international empire.”
Named a Companion of the Order of Australia for his outstanding contributions to the television industry and promotion of Australia overseas in 2008, he was inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame in 1993, Grundy was given an International Emmy Founders Award in 1996.