Quinn Martin

Quinn Martin (May 22, 1922 September 5, 1987) was an American television producer. He had at least one television series running in prime time every year for 21 straight years (from 1959 to 1980).[1] Martin is a member of the Television Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 1997.[2]

Quinn Martin
Irwin Martin Cohn

May 22, 1922 (1922-05-22)
DiedSeptember 5, 1987(1987-09-05) (aged 65)
OccupationTelevision producer
Spouse(s)Madelyn Pugh (a.k.a. Madelyn Davis); Marianne Muffet Webb
ChildrenMichael (with Pugh); Jill, Cliff (with Webb)
Parent(s)Martin G. Cohn

Early life

Born on May 22, 1922,[3] in New York City as Irwin Martin Cohn, he was the second of two children. His father, Martin Goodman Cohn, was a film editor and producer at MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) studios; his mother was Anna Messing Cohn. He was of Jewish descent. From the age of 4, he was raised in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from Fairfax High School. He later served five years in the United States Army during World War II, enlisting in the Signal Corps at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, California, on September 10, 1940. He achieved the rank of sergeant. He changed his name to Quinn Martin (the Quinn came from the pronunciation his friends gave of Cohn, as "Co-Inn").

While attending the University of California at Berkeley,[1] Martin majored in English studies but did not graduate. Martin started his career in television as a film editor also at MGM, joining his father and also worked as manager of post-production for various organizations, including Universal Studios (1950–1954), but by the mid 1950s had become an executive producer for Desilu Studios, founded by Lucille Ball (1911-1989) and Desi Arnaz (1917-1986) of the famous 1950s TV series I Love Lucy (ran 1951-1957).[1] His first wife, Madelyn Pugh Davis, was one half of the writing team behind Desilu's classic I Love Lucy.[4] In 1959 he produced for Desilu Productions a two-part special that appeared in season 1 of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse an anthology TV series and later became a weekly television show on the CBS television network (Columbia Broadcasting System), with The Untouchables, which would go on to win several Emmy Awards.

In 1960, Martin established his own production company, QM Productions which produced several high ratings television shows in the 1960s. He sold it in 1978 and worked as an adjunct professor at the University of California at San Diego's Earl Warren College,[1] where he also endowed a professorial chair in drama.[5] He also established a scholarship for theater arts and communications students at Santa Clara University [6]

QM Productions

QM Productions produced a string of successful television series during the 1960s and 1970s, including The Fugitive, Twelve O'Clock High, The F.B.I., The Invaders, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, and Barnaby Jones. Besides producing sixteen one-hour television network series, he also produced twenty "made-for-TV" movies, including Attack on Terror, Brinks: The Great Robbery, Face of Fear, House on Greenapple Road, and Murder or Mercy. His only feature for the big screen of motion pictures/film was The Mephisto Waltz, released by Twentieth Century-Fox.[7]

In 1979, a group of investors purchased his wholly self-owned QM Productions and subsequently sold it to Taft Broadcasting.[8] Later in that year, the company was reincorporated into Taft Entertainment Television, though the QM name and logo continued to be used on-screen and for copyright purposes until the last official production was broadcast in 1983. After selling QM Productions, Martin moved to Rancho Santa Fe, California, near San Diego where he became president of the La Jolla Playhouse and the Del Mar Fair board of directors. He was also involved with business activities, still developing motion pictures for Warner Bros. with a new company named QM Communications.

Typical format of a QM program

Shows produced by the company were usually introduced with the distinctive voices of announcer Dick Wesson or Hank Simms reading the title of the series and then saying, "A Quinn Martin Production." Images of the stars of the show, followed by the guest stars for that week, were shown and their names announced, followed by the name of the episode and various to-black effects. In some series, such as The Fugitive and The Invaders, its backstory that led to the plot of the series, narrated by the announcer or the star, was told before the show's guest stars were announced. Most episodes were structured into four "acts" and an "epilogue," each labelled at the start of each segment with the show title and the act number (or "epilog" near the end of the program).


Martin died of heart failure on September 5, 1987, in his home in Rancho Santa Fe, California.[9]


  1. Quinn Martin at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
  2. "Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List".
  3. Etter, Jonathan (2003). Quinn Martin, Producer: A Behind-the-scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder. Walter Grauman, contributor. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7864-1501-4.
  4. Madelyn Pugh Davis at Museum of Television & Radio.
  5. UCSD Academic Affairs: Endowed Chairs.
  6. Santa Clara University Archived October 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  7. Jonathan Etter, p. 101-105, Quinn Martin, Producer: A Behind-the-Scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder, McFarland, ISBN 978-0-7864-3867-9.
  8. "Martin B. Boorstein profile". Archived from the original on April 10, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2007.CS1 maint: unfit url (link) at Walden Capital Partners.
  9. Saxon, Wolfgang (September 7, 1987). "Quinn Martin Is Dead at 65; Produced Popular TV Series". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-01. Quinn Martin, one of Hollywood's most successful producers of action-adventure series for television, died of a heart attack Saturday at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. He was 65 years old... Martin is survived by his wife, Muffet; three children, Jill, Cliff and Michael, and his mother.
  • 1930 Federal Census
  • Obituary: Quinn Martin. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 8 September 1987.
  • Obituary: Quinn Martin. San Francisco Chronicle. 8 September 1987.
  • Obituary: Quinn Martin. South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 8 September 1987.
  • Obituary: Quinn Martin. Washington Post. 8 September 1987.
  • Social Security Death Index
  • U.S. Army Enlistment Records (5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 151 lb (68 kg) at enlistment)

Further reading

  • Etter, Jonathan. (2003). Quinn Martin, Producer: A Behind-the-Scenes History of QM Productions and Its Founder. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.