Tom Whedon, TV writer-producer and father of Joss Whedon, dies at 83

Joss Whedon Returning To Marvel
Joss Whedon Returning To Marvel

Tom Whedon, an accomplished writer-producer who worked on such shows as The Golden Girls, Captain Kangaroo and The Electric Company and the father of Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon, has died. He was 83.

Another son, screenwriter and musician Jed Whedon (Agents of SHIELD, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog), wrote on Instagram that their father died Wednesday. No other details were immediately available.

"We said goodbye to our dad yesterday," he wrote. "He passed away in relative peace surrounded by his wife, all five of his boys and their loved ones. He gave us the gift of his warmth and humor. We miss him terribly. Love you dad."

Survivors also include additional sons Zack (a producer on Halt and Catch Fire), Samuel and Matthew.

Tom Whedon also served as a writer on The Dick Cavett Show in the 1970s and penned episodes of The Golden Girls and other sitcoms including All's Fair, Alice, Benson (he also produced) and It's a Living.

A native of New York whose father was screenwriter John Whedon (The Donna Reed Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show), Thomas Avery Whedon served as an original writer on Captain Kangaroo, which debuted on CBS in 1955.

In the 1970s, he joined the Children's Television Workshop, became head writer for The Electric Company and won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1973.

He and Jon Stone, who went on to develop such Sesame Street characters as Cookie Monster and Big Bird at CTW, collaborated with Jim Henson on a 1969 ABC special, Hey Cinderella!

In addition to writing and directing The Avengers (2012) and its 2015 sequel, Joss Whedon, of course, wrote the screenplay for Toy Story (1995) and has credits including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Agents of SHIELD.

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