Robert van Scoyk
Robert Elseworth van Scoyk
January 13, 1928
Dayton, Ohio, US
|Died||August 23, 2002 (aged 74)|
Los Angeles, California, US
|Other names||Bob van Scoyk, Rovert van Scoyk|
|Occupation||Writer, producer, story editor|
|Spouse(s)||1. Patricia Schauder, ?- 1971 (her death)|
2. Leona Plotkin, ?-2002 (his death)
|Children||Robert Van Scoyk, Andrew Van Scoyk, and Matt Tyrnauer, film director and journalist|
Robert van Scoyk (January 13, 1928 – August 23, 2002) was a television writer, producer and story editor active during the Golden Age of Television from the late 1940s until the late 1990s.
Life and career
Born in Dayton, Ohio, to Robert Van Scoyk and Gertrude Wardlow, he wrote for local radio before joining the United States Army Air Corps during the last months of World War II. After the war he attended Columbia and New York Universities and began his career in television by working as a pageboy at NBC studios.
He married Patricia Schauder and they had two sons. She died in 1971 at age 42 and he later married Leona Plotkin.
At that time he was also writing a column for the Dayton Daily News about life as a struggling radio and TV writer in Manhattan. New York gossip columnist Earl Wilson helped his career by regularly recounting van Scoyk's adventures in his own column. Van Scoyk’s first writing credit, together with partner Allan Manings, was for The Imogene Coca Show.
His break came when he wrote a script for NBC's The New Faces, a revue show produced by the NBC pages in the late 1940s. He went on to write for The Ann Sothern Show, The Imogene Coca Show, U.S. Steel Hour, Philco Theatre, Armstrong Circle Theater and Kraft Theatre, as well as Ivanhoe and The Betty Hutton Show.
In the late 1960s van Scoyk moved to Los Angeles where he wrote, adapted, produced and story edited a wide range of TV series and made-for-television movies, equally at home with comedy, Western, musical comedy, melodrama, medical drama, mystery and detective genres.
He is perhaps best remembered for his involvement as writer, producer, executive producer and/or story editor for such shows as The Virginian, Banacek, Young Maverick, Flying High, Rafferty, Ellery Queen and, for the 12 years of its 1984-96 run and after, Murder, She Wrote. In fact for his work on this show he was profiled for the book Successful Scriptwriting, by Jurgen Wolff and Kerry Cox.
Robert van Scoyk died in Los Angeles, California on August 23, 2002 of complication from diabetes. He was 74.
The Robert Van Scoyk Papers are listed at the Online Archive of California. In addition to produced television scripts, treatments, and ideas for produced and unproduced TV shows, the collection also contains personal and professional scrapbooks, photos, correspondence, illustrations, and song lyrics.Online Archive of California
Additional credits (partial)
(Also credited as Bob van Scoyk and Rovert van Scoyk.)
- TV adaptation of Kiss Me, Kate (1968) starring Robert Goulet and Carol Lawrence for ABC
- Love, Sidney starring Tony Randall
- All's Fair starring Richard Crenna and Bernadette Peters
His other writings were represented in anthologies including Best Short Stories of 1958, in sketches for a 1956 Broadway show called The Littlest Revue (OAC), and in contributions to periodicals including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and The Humanist.
- Galloway, Doug (4 September 2002). "Robert Van Scoyk".
- "Robert Van Scoyk Is Dead at 74; Wrote and Produced TV Shows". 3 September 2002 – via NYTimes.com.
- "Robert Van Scoyk Papers". www.oac.cdlib.org.
- "Robert Van Scoyk". IMDb.
- "Robert Van Scoyk Biography (1928-2002)". www.filmreference.com.