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Ethel Winant, Groundbreaker for Women in Television Industry,
Ethel Winant, who became the first woman to ever hold an executive
position at any television network, died on November 29 at age
81. After decades of working as a casting director and then
a producer, Winant was made vice-president of CBS in 1973.
Winant started out in the New York theatre working for producer
Irene Selznick, director Elia Kazan, and playwright Tennessee
Williams. Then a visit to a television studio in the 1950’s
changed the course of her career.
"I walked into a rehearsal of Studio One and it
was just breathtaking," Winant told The Los Angeles
Times. "I was heartsick when the rehearsal was over.
They said, 'You can come back tomorrow.' So I went the next
day and thought, 'I just want to stay here forever.' I sort
of did. I just hung around. I knew eventually someone would
want a cup of coffee and I would get it for them."
Other successful television programs that Winant worked on include
Playhouse 90, The Twilight Zone, The Mary
Tyler Moore Show, and Hawaii Five-0.
Winant won many awards, including a special Emmy for Playhouse
90, two Peabodys, the Humanitas Prize, the Christopher
Award, the Alice Award, and the Crystal Award from Women in
Film. In 1999, Winant was inducted into the Hall of Fame of
the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Winant’s full obituary at the Academy of Television
Arts and Sciences.
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