Leonard B. Stern

Leonard Bernard Stern (December 23, 1923 – June 7, 2011) was an American screenwriter, film and television producer, director, and one of the creators, with Roger Price, of the word game Mad Libs.[1][2]

Leonard B. Stern
Leonard Bernard Stern

December 23, 1923
DiedJune 7, 2011(2011-06-07) (aged 87)
OccupationPublisher, director, writer, producer
Years active1949–2000
Julie Adams
(m. 1951; div. 1953)

Gloria Stroock
(m. 1956)

Life and career

Stern was born in New York City.[1] He studied at New York University.[1] Stern was a successful television writer who wrote for such now classic series such as Get Smart, The Honeymooners, The Phil Silvers Show,[1] The Steve Allen Show[1] and Tonight Starring Steve Allen. Stern created the signature opening door credits for Get Smart.

Stern was also a writer for the 1952 Danny Thomas and Peggy Lee version of The Jazz Singer and several Abbott and Costello films, among others. In the 1970s, he produced and directed the TV series McMillan & Wife, which starred Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James.[2]

Stern was the senior vice president of Price Stern Sloan (PSS). In 2000, after Price's death, Stern and another partner, Larry Sloan, launched another publishing company, Tallfellow Press, and acquired the rights to Droodles. Stern co-wrote, with Diane L. Robinson, A Martian Wouldn't Say That (2000), a compilation of actual memos and notes from television executives.

Personal life

Stern was married twice. His first marriage was in 1951 to actress Julie Adams. The marriage ended in divorce two years later in 1953. In 1956, Stern married actress Gloria Stroock, to whom he remained married until his death. The couple had two children, Kate and Michael.[3][4]


On June 7, 2011, Stern died of heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills, California, aged 87.[1] He was survived by his wife of 55 years, actress Gloria Stroock, as well as a son, daughter, two grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.[1] Funeral services were held at Mount Sinai Memorial Park.[5]

Selected film and television credits



  • Emmy Award, 1957, Best Comedy Writing-variety Or Situation Comedy (The Phil Silvers Show)
  • Emmy Award, 1967, Outstanding Writing Achievement In Comedy (Get Smart)


  1. Fox, Margalit (June 9, 2011). "Leonard B. Stern, Creator of Mad Libs, Dies at 88". The New York Times.
  2. Penguin Group website
  3. Notice of Gloria Stroock/Leonard Stern marriage, nytimes.com; accessed August 22, 2014.
  4. Obituary for Leonard B. Stern, foxnews.com; accessed August 22, 2014.
  5. McLellan, Dennis (June 9, 2011). "Leonard Stern dies at 88; TV writer, producer also co-created Mad Libs". Los Angeles Times.
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