‘Golden Girls’ producer Paul Junger Witt dies at 77

Paul Junger Witt, producer of such TV comedies as “The Golden Girls,” “Benson,” “Soap” and a principal of the prosperous Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions, died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 77.

Witt had faced a long battle with cancer, a family representative said.

With producing partner Tony Thomas, Witt in the 1970s and 80s ran Witt/Thomas Productions, which was also home to NBC’s “Empty Nest” and “Blossom” and the original “Beauty and the Beast” series. In 1983, Witt married writer-producer Susan Harris, creator of NBC’s “Golden Girls,” and the company expanded as Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions.

In addition to his TV work, Witt was a producer of such films as “Dead Poet’s Society” and “Three Kings.”

Survivors include Harris and five children.

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11 PHOTOS
Paul Junger Witt through his career
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Paul Junger Witt through his career
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Producer Paul Junger Witt talks as actresses Betty Whiteand Rue McClanahan listen during the Q&A for the DVD release party for 'The Golden Girls' the first season at the Museum of Television and Radio November 18, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04: (L-R) Producer Tony Thomas, actress Betty White and producer Paul Junger Witt attend the 'Golden Girls Reunion' at the Sunset-Gower Studios on May 4, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Paul Junger Witt during 'Golden Girls' Honored with Dedication Ceremony at The Sunset-Gower Studios Stage 2 at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 04: (L-R) Producer Paul Junger Witt, producer Tony Thomas, actress Betty White and Robert Papazian, CEO Sunset-Gower Studios, attend the 'Golden Girls Reunion' at the Sunset-Gower Studios on May 4, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MARCH 27: Producer Tony Thomas, producer Susan Harris and producer Paul Junger Witt attend the 29th Annual Publicists Guild of America Awards on March 27, 1992 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - JULY 27: Producer Paul Junger Witt, Susan Harris and producer Tony Thomas attend the NBC Summer TCA Press Tour on July 27, 1991 at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 21: (L-R) Producer Paul Junger Witt, Summit Entertainment President and CEO Patrick Wachsberger, actors Demian Bichir and Jose Julian, director Chris Weitz, Summit Entertainment Head of Production Erik Feig, and producer Christian McLaughlin arrive at 'A Better Life' World Premiere Gala Screening during the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE on June 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 21: Producer Paul Junger Witt (R) and wife Susan Harris arrive at 'A Better Life' World Premiere Gala Screening during the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE on June 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
405658 13: Producer Paul Junger Witt attends the Los Angeles premiere of Insomnia at the El Capitan Theater May 22, 2002 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
Susan Harris, Paul Junger Witt, Elizabeth M. Daley, Dean of USC School of Cinema-Television and Clint Eastwood (Photo by Lee Celano/WireImage)
CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 10: Producer Paul Junger Witt and producer Susan Harris attends the 14th Annual St. Jude Children's Hospital Hollywood Benefit Gala on June 10, 1994 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
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