Marty Krofft, ‘Land of the Lost’ and ‘HR Pufnstuf’ Producer, Dies at 86

He was known as the King of Saturday Mornings

Sid and Marty Krofft with "H.R. Pufnstuf" lead Jack Wild. (Photo: Sid & Marty Krofft Pictures Archive)

Marty Krofft, who produced “Land of the Lost,” “H.R. Pufnstuf” and numerous other television shows, has died at age 86.

Krofft’s death was announced by his family, stating that his cause of death was kidney failure.

Known as the “King of Saturday Mornings,” Krofft and his brother Sid dominated children’s television programming for decades. In addition to “Land of the Lost” and “H.R. Pufnstuf,” Sid & Marty Pictures produced “The Bugaloos,” “Lidsville,” “Pryor’s Place” and “The Krofft Supershow.”

Krofft opened theme park the World of Sid & Marty Krofft in Atlanta in 1976. Before getting into TV, Marty had worked as creative director at Six Flags, producing live shows for visitors from across the country.

Much to the delight of fans, Krofft’s classic children’s show “H.R. Pufnstuf” returned to television in 2015 as part of Nickelodeon show “Mutt & Stuff.” Krofft said of the series, “‘Pufnstuf’ is our baby and ‘Pufnstuf’ will be around probably forever. So whatever we did back in 1969, it definitely worked.”

He and his brother also created the adult-oriented puppet show “Les Poupees De Paris” that traveled the country, including running at the Seattle World’s Fair and the New York World’s Fair.

Of “Les Poupees,” Krofft told TheWrap in 2009, “This was a big show that was creatively an instant hit, but it was hard to turn a profit because of our overhead. So we went from there to the World’s Fair in Seattle. They built us a theater for a bigger edition of the show. Then we got a club in Hollywood called PJ’s, which was the first disco in the country, and we had our own room in the back.”

The Krofft brothers also created D.C. Follies in the 1980s, a puppet show about political news and current events.

The two achieved enormous success together, but in 2009, Marty Krofft told TheWrap that his brother was the person who brought him out to Hollywood to work on his puppet show.

“I was living in New York, I was 18, and I was selling cars, and I always wanted to come to California. So he needed somebody to help him,” Marty Krofft explained. “The guy he had working with him for years quit, so I took the opportunity, and I went out. That’s how it started.”

Krofft said that the pair ended up working with big names including GM, DeLorean, Ringling Bros. and Hanna-Barbera.

His career included plenty of live television as well. In 1988, the duo produced “Comedy Kings” for the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The duo were awarded the Lifetime Career Award at the 2003 Saturn Awards and the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2018. They also received stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2020, and Krofft won the Annual Julie Award at Dragon Con in Atlanta earlier this year.

He is survived by his brothers, Harry Krofft and Sid Krofft; daughters Deanna Krofft-Pope (husband, Randy Pope), Kristina Krofft and Kendra Krofft (husband, Lou Moreno); five grandchildren (Taylor Pope, Karson Pope, Griffin Pope, Georgia Zander, Drake Zander) and one great-grandchild, Maddox Nichols.


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