R.I.P. Marty Krofft, who partnered with brother Sid to create an empire of kid's TV shows
They started by designing sets and costumes for Hanna-Barbera and shaped the landscape of children's TV in the Seventies. Marty Krofft was 86.
If you were the kind of kid fascinated by live action shows over cartoons when you woke up on Saturdays, Sid and Marty Krofft were the ones behind the shows that made your mornings. Our first glimpse into their imaginations came via the Hanna-Barbera production The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, with colorful sets and costumes designed by the Krofft brothers in 1968. The show was such a hit, the network asked the Kroffts to develop their own series.
The result was H.R. Pufnstuf, a short-lived yet beloved series that gained new life in syndication. It starred a bright yellow dragon which was a human-sized puppet costume originally created for the Hemisfair '68 World’s Fair in San Antonio.
Their ideas changed the look of children's TV, as the pair released series after series of extremely memorable characters, from H.R. Pufnstuf to Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and the whole cast of The Land of the Lost.
Taking a break from children's programming, the Krofft brothers turned their sights to producing variety shows in the mid 1970s, when the genre was bigger than ever on television. The most successful show was Donny & Marie, which ran for three years. However, the success wasn't matched with The Brady Bunch Hour and Pink Lady and Jeff.
The brothers didn't stop working after the golden age of television, however; even having a brand-new series on Nickelodeon from 2015-2017, Mutt & Stuff. As recent as 2017 they were involved in the Amazon Prime reboot of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, starring David Arquette.
Fortunately, Marty was given plenty of flowers when he was still around to enjoy them. In 2018, the Kroffts were given an Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award for their work over the years. In 2020, the brothers earned their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for contributions to television. There was even a "Krofft Kon", a convention held in 2022 in California, where fans had a chance to meet the Kroffts and actors from their television series.
Marty Krofft passed at 86 years of age.