LOS ANGELES -- Ted Apstein, doyen of this city's playwriting instructors and a leading dramatist and television writer himself, has died at age 80.
Adjunct Professor of Theatre at UCLA, where he taught the master class in the graduate playwriting program for 27 years before retiring three years ago, Apstein was born in Kiev, Russia and started school in Berlin, Germany. The rise of Hitler drove his family to Mexico, where he resumed his studies. Later he was educated at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Texas, where he earned a Ph.D.
After spending six months in South America studying theatre on a Rockefeller Foundation grant, Apstein had three plays produced in New York: The Innkeepers, Illusion and Come Share My House. He then began working in television, writing more than 100 scripts for such shows as "Hallmark Hall of Fame," "Studio One," "Alcoa Playhouse" and "The Waltons."
A member of the Writers Guild of America, he also served on its board of directors. His Los Angeles plays include Manana is Another Day and Sleight of Hand.
Six of his one-act plays were published in The Best Plays of the Year and have been produced in the U.S. and abroad. Apstein, who died July 25 following complications of a stroke he suffered a year ago, is survived by Patricia, his wife of 51 years, and five children. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Playwrights Group, 2062 N. Vine Ave., L.A. 90027, a writer's co-op which Apstein considered his home away from home.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent