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William T Orr

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Years active

Sex and the Single Girl

Joy Page (m. 1945ā€“1970)

Television producer

William Orr

Gregory Orr

William T. Orr iamediaimdbcomimagesMMV5BMTIzMDAzODAwOF5BMl5

September 27, 1917 (

Resting place
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)

film and television produceractor

December 25, 2002, Los Angeles, California, United States

Golden Globe Award for Television Achievement

Similar People
Joy Page, Roy Huggins, Don Alvarado, Leslie H Martinson, Jack L Warner

William T. Orr (September 27, 1917 ā€“ December 25, 2002) was an American television producer associated with a series of western and detective programs of the 1950s-1970s. On most of his Warner Bros. series, he was billed as "Wm. T. Orr."


Orr began his career as an actor; his film credits included The Mortal Storm, The Gay Sisters, and The Big Street.

Army service

During World War II he was an officer in the Army Air Force. He was assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit.

Production career

As the first head of Warner Bros. Television department, Orr forged a fruitful alliance with ABC, which resulted in the network having a number of prime time hits, such as Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip, and F Troop. At the height of this relationship in the early 1960s, Orr had nine programs in prime time simultaneously.

Of these, though, no program was more significant than one of his earliest, Cheyenne. It was a groundbreaking series that was both the first hour-long western and the first series of any kind made by a major Hollywood film studio consisting entirely of content wholly exclusive to television.

A curator at the Paley Center for Media, previously called The Museum of Television and Radio once encapsulated Orr's importance to Warner Bros. by saying, "Television began as a step-child. But because of Orr, it became equal with film in creating revenue and jobs for the studio." One of the key reforms he made to effect this change was to move Warner's nascent television department from cramped quarters in New York City to Los Angeles studios separate from the film division.

His impact on the genre of western fiction was recognized with a Golden Boot Award upon the announcement of his death.

Despite broadly positive posthumous recognition for his work as a whole, Orr did receive negative press during the height of his career. Time Magazine characterized Orr and Jack Warner as co-architects of unfair contracts during late-1950s pay disputes waged by Warner Bros. star television actors Clint Walker, James Garner, and Edd Byrnes.

In 1963, towards the end of the 5th season, Jack Webb replaced Orr as executive producer of ABC's 77 Sunset Strip detective series. For the 6th season, Webb completely changed the theme song and format and retained only Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., in the role of Stuart Bailey. The revision was a disaster, and the program was cancelled even prior to the end of the sixth season. Orr was hired by Frank Sinatra's Essex Productions.

Personal life

Orr married Jack L. Warner's stepdaughter Joy Page in 1945. The couple divorced in 1970. Their son Gregory Orr is a writer and producer.

Upon his death in 2002, Orr was interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles.


In 1994, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.

An elementary school and street in Norwalk, California, are named for him.


William T. Orr Wikipedia

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