Jonathan Axelrod Dies: ABC & Columbia TV Exec, Producer Of ‘Dave’s World’ Was 74

Jonathan Axelrod Dies: ABC & Columbia TV Exec, Producer Of ‘Dave’s World’ Was 74

Jonathan Axelrod, prolific studio and network executive, television producer and writer (Dave’s World, Can’t Hurry Love, Garage Sale Mysteries…), and son-in-law of the late George Axelrod (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Manchurian Candidate, The Seven Year Itch…), died in his sleep on June 13 in Los Angeles. His death was confirmed to Deadline by his ex-wife, television director/producer Katy Garretson. He was 74.

Axelrod had a long and varied career in film and television. Early on, he founded and was President of the talent agency Camden Artists. He was President of New World Pictures and Columbia Pictures Television.

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He was the producing half of Axelrod/Widdoes Entertainment, with actor-director Jamie Widdoes, as well as Axelrod/Edwards with writer-executive Kelly Edwards. He was both SVP of Prime-Time Development and Vice-President of Drama at ABC. He partnered with director John Frankenheimer to produce TV movies like Against the Wall… after meeting Frankenheimer as a teenager on the set of The Manchurian Candidate, which his stepfather produced and Frankenheimer directed.

Axelrod was a writer and EP on Hollywood Babylon, the 1992 series adaptation of Kenneth Anger’s classic book on Hollywood scandals.

In the later years of his career, Axelrod produced over two dozen movies for the Hallmark Channel.

Born in New York, New York, on July 9, 1949, Axelrod’s birth father was Arthur Stanton, Chairman of World-Wide Volkswagen. The boy moved to Beverly Hills at the age of nine, when his stepfather (whose surname he took) was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. He resided in the L.A. area thereafter, relocating to Palm Springs upon his retirement in 2015.

Prior to his last marriage to Garretson, Axelrod was married to actress Illeana Douglas and model/actress Shelley Smith. His son, Samuel, lives in New Mexico with his wife and daughter. His extended family members reside mainly in New York, where there will be a private memorial service.


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