Allan McKeown, co-creator of wife Tracey Ullman‘s “Tracey Takes On …” HBO show, died on Christmas Eve following a long fight with prostate cancer. He was 67.
McKeown executive produced TV shows such as “Auf Wiedersehen Pet,” “Shine on Harvey Moon,” “Lovejoy,” and “Birds of a Feather.” McKeown was one of the first independent television producers in the UK, and fought to ensure that independent producers maintained the rights to their programs.
In 1983, McKeown married singer-actress Ullman in Los Angeles, where he worked for Fox and Paramount Studios. Together, the duo created “Tracey Takes On …” for HBO, and later, “State of the Union” for Showtime. In 1997, McKeown and Ullman won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Musical Comedy Series for the former.
See photos: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2013
In his later years, McKeown produced “Jerry Springer, the Opera” at the National Theatre, which won the Olivier Award in 2004 for Best New Musical. In 2005, he produced “Lennon the Musical” on Broadway with Yoko Ono.
McKeown was born in Ealing on May 21, 1946. In 1969, the former hair dresser became a commercial producer before forming his own production company, Witzend. McKeown and partners upgraded from producing commercials to making feature films, such as “Porridge” and “To Russia with Elton.” Witzend became SelecTV, a public company.
In 1990, McKeown went on to become a founding member of the Meridian consortium, which won a bid for the ITV television franchise for the southeast of England. In 1994, Meridian launched its programming, mainly produced by McKeown. In March 1996, McKeown sold his stake in SelecTV.
McKeown is survived by his wife Tracey, daughter Mabel and son Johnny.