Marty Krofft — the legendary co-producer and co-creator of a slew of influential kids’ TV shows in the 1970s — has died. He was 86.
His death was announced in a statement released by his rep, B. Harlan Boll, Saturday afternoon. Marty — who was one half of a legendary producing duo, alongside his brother, Sid Krofft, died from kidney failure on Saturday, surrounded by his family, at his home in Los Angeles.
As shared in the statement, the work created by Marty and Sid Krofft “dominated children’s television” for decades, and “multiple generations of fans have grown up with the popular shows of Sid & Marty Krofft. They made memories for millions to enjoy.”
The brothers had been working as puppeteers in the 1960s when they were approached by NBC to create a Saturday morning children’s show. Together, the brothers created and produced the cult classic H.R. Pufnstuf, which ran for one season but proved massively influential as a timeless pop culture oddity.
They pair went on to create The Bugaloos in 1970, Lidsville in 1971, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters in 1973.
However, one of the most indelible marks on pop culture came in 1974 with the creation of their hit series Land of the Lost. The show — which ran for three seasons — blended puppetry with stop-motion animation and live action actors to create a complex world of fantasy, science fiction and old-school adventure.
The story followed a father and his two children who inadvertently fall through a wormhole portal into the titular Land of the Lost, where they must survive the elements while facing threats included dinosaurs, interdimensional aliens, a race of sinister lizard people, and friendly humanoid ape creatures, all why trying to uncover the mysteries of the strange dimension and find some way home.
The Kroft Brothers remade the show in 1991, and the series ran for two seasons, and a big-screen film adaptation starring Will Ferrell and Danny McBride came out in 2009. As recently as 2018, the brothers were talking about their plans to remake the show yet again as in serialized hour-long drama format.
Due to their success with a slew of different kids shows, Sid and Marty Krofft became known as the Kings of Saturday Morning.
Apart from his work in the world of daytime kids’ programming, the Krofft brothers found a great deal of success as producers in the world of primetime TV as well, producing successful series including the Donny & Marie Show, D.C. Follies, The Brady Bunch Hour and Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters.
In recognition for their work, the pair were presented with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 2018, and two years later they were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Many stars who worked with Marty, or were impacted by their memorable and groundbreakingly creative shows, took to social media to share tributes and memories in the wake of his death.
“Rest In Sweet Peace Marty Krofft. Thank you for all the joy,” Brady Bunch star Maureen McCormick wrote on X(Twitter). “You are in my ❤️ forever. Love to Marty’s family and friends.”
Donny Osmond paid tribute as well, sharing a photo of Sid and Marty alongside himself and sister Marie Osmond from their time working together.
“I am so saddened by the passing of my dear friend, Marty Krofft. He and his brother, Sid, created the whole format of The Donny and Marie Show. Together, they put my sister and me on the map and both of us will be forever grateful for their vision and creativity,” Osmond wrote. “Marty Krofft’s television legacy is incredible. His fingerprint is on generations of entertainment and the impact he’s had in connecting people around the world is an astonishing legacy he leaves behind. Our best wishes and love go out to his family and loved ones. As Marie and I sang at the end of every show, ‘May God keep you in His tender care, ’till He brings us together again.'”
David Arquette — who starred in a 2017 reboot of their iconic series Sigmund and the Sea Monsters — took to his Instagram story to pay tribute.
He shared a snapshot of his collection of memorabilia from various Krofft Brothers shows, over which he wrote simply, “I love you Marty.”
Marty is survived by his brothers, Sid and Harry Krofft, as well as three daughters and five grandchildren.