Lee Mendelson
Producer
Lee Mendelson
Lee Mendelson is an American television producer. He is best known as the executive producer of the many Peanuts animated specials. Mendelson, a native of San Francisco, California, entered Stanford University in 1950, where he studied creative writing. After graduating in 1954, he spent three years in the Air Force. He then worked several years for his father, a vegetable grower and shipper.
Biography
Lee Mendelson's personal information overview.
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Relationships
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News
News abour Lee Mendelson from around the web
‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Almost Never Made It To Television
Huffington Post - 2 months
In 1965, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” debuted on CBS, with over 15 million people tuning in for the first showing. Over the next five decades, millions more watched the story of a few, still mostly hairless, kids who go on a quest to find the true meaning of celebrating Christmas. Although the multigenerational resonance of this television special now seems fated, the fact that “A Charlie Brown Christmas” even made it on TV was actually so serendipitous that it’s almost easy to believe some divine, jolly red-suited figure intervened to guide its path. The Huffington Post spoke on the phone with producer Lee Mendelson about how CBS execs, animator Bill Melendez, and Mendelson himself thought the final product was a disaster before it aired. “When it was all finished, we thought we’d ruined Charlie Brown,” said Mendelson, who now ― comfortably sitting atop half a century of “Charlie Brown” success, acclaim and syndication money ― can talk openly about the time he thought he’d i ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Why I Still Love "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
Huffington Post - about 1 year
I must have been about two or three years old. I remember sitting under a Christmas tree, opening a present, and it was night-time, and I'd just managed to score a nice collection of Hot Wheels. The television was on, showing some strange-looking boy with a big, fat head looking miserable. Beside him, a little white dog was busy decking his doghouse with Christmas ornaments and lights. That was the first time I can recall watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. To this day, almost fifty years later, I never miss it. Of all the Christmas cartoons in the world to get hooked on, it has to be A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now yes, maybe there's still a place in my heart for How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but for the past few decades, I've seen them more as Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder. It's hard for me to watch "Grinch" for example, and hear Boris Karloff narrate why the green monster hates Christmas: "...but I think that the most likel ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Was There Originally a Coca-Cola Ad Mixed Into A Charlie Brown Christmas?
Huffington Post - about 1 year
A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of those rare examples of a piece of popular culture that could truly be termed an "instant classic." It first aired on CBS on Thursday, December 9, 1965 and was a massive ratings success. It won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program and it also won a Peabody Award for distinguished achievement by a television program. It has aired on television every year since 1966 (up to 2000 on CBS and on ABC since 2001) and continues to be a popular program even as it hits its 50th anniversary this season. The most striking aspect of A Charlie Brown Christmas is its message, a message that stood out at the time (and made TV executives nervous) and stands out even more today. The program speaks out against the over-commercialization of Christmas as well as the secularization of the holiday. Charles Schulz wished for the special to tell the "true meaning" of Christmas, which is shown in the special when Linus recites the Nativity story from the Gos ...
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Huffington Post article
‘Linus and Lucy’ Forever: 5 Behind-the-Scenes Stories of Vince Guaraldi’s ‘Peanuts’ Music
Wall Street Journal - over 1 year
Producer Lee Mendelson talks about the creative partnership between the musician and the 'Peanuts' world.
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Wall Street Journal article
HISTORY TRIVIA: Step Back in Time
Belmont Patch - over 4 years
A big thanks to Patch users Carol Gilbert and Corinne Kason for captioning one of our photos in last week's Step Back in Time history quiz. First Lt. Lee Mendelson, March, 1957. Is this the same Mendelson as the Burlingame television producer? And is that entertainer George Gobel? What are they doing? Apparently, the Lee Mendelson that did the Peanuts films used to live on Castilian Way in San Mateo, and in last week's photo, he was with comic/actor George Gobel. However, we didn't get any bites on this photo of Entertainer Jack Mish surrounded by some lovely ladies. Do you know what it's all about? The San Mateo County Historical Association still has many photos that need captions, after it recently purchased more than 30,000 San Mateo Times newspaper photos that span most of the 20th century and provide a glimpse into San Mateo County life and its generations. Own a little piece of history by looking at these photos and help the association find out about the story be ...
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Belmont Patch article
Rasender Stillstand - Tagesspiegel
Google News - almost 6 years
Charles M. Schulz, der ab Mitte der 1960er die ersten „Peanuts“-Trickfilme mit seinen Freunden, dem Produzenten Lee Mendelson und dem Animationszeichner Bill Melendez, realisierte, war sich dabei sehr wohl der Schwierigkeit bewusst,
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Google News article
Listening to Schroeder: 'Peanuts' Scholars Find Messages in Cartoon's Scores
NYTimes - about 8 years
In a ''Peanuts'' strip from the mid-1950s, Charlie Brown walks through the first panel and finds Schroeder sitting in front of an adult-size hi-fi, his ear to the speaker. ''Shh,'' Schroeder says, ''I'm listening to Beethoven's Ninth.'' Charlie Brown inspects Schroeder's outfit. ''In an overcoat?'' he asks. Schroeder leans even closer to the
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NYTimes article
Bill Melendez, 91, 'Peanuts' Animator, Dies
NYTimes - over 8 years
Bill Melendez, an Emmy-winning animator who brought Charlie Brown and the ''Peanuts'' gang to blithe, blockheaded life on television and in films -- and who helped keep them alive after the death of their creator, Charles M. Schulz -- died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 91 and lived in Los Angeles. Mr. Melendez's son Steven confirmed the
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NYTimes article
Paid Notice: Deaths DORKIN, LOUIS
NYTimes - over 9 years
DORKIN--Louis, 82, of Tucson, AZ, formerly of NYC, husband of the late Jane M. Dorkin, died September 16, 2007 at Middlesex Hospital. He was the Senior Vice President and Director of Network Television at Dancer, Fitzgerald & Sample. He then consulted for Lee Mendelson Productions. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer McCann, her husband Shawn
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NYTimes article
THE WEEK; It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas | Nov. 26-Dec. 2
NYTimes - about 10 years
SHOPPERS, TO THE KEYBOARDS The News -- Online consumer spending on the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday increased 26 percent over last year, setting a record for a single day in retail Internet sales, according to comScore Networks, which tracks Web purchases. Behind the News -- Christened Cyber Monday by retailers, it's the day consumers
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NYTimes article
TELEVISION REVIEW; Lots of Familiar Punch Lines, Charlie Brown
NYTimes - about 13 years
Lucy and Linus Van Pelt's younger brother, Rerun, doesn't enjoy riding on the back of his mother's bicycle. (She's not that great a driver.) But he tries to keep a cheerful attitude. ''Over hill, over dale,'' he says brightly. ''Poor Dale.'' Rerun is the central character in the newest ''Peanuts'' television special, ''I Want a Dog for Christmas,
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NYTimes article
TELEVISION REVIEW; Charlie Brown and His Crew, All Fired Up to Lose
NYTimes - over 13 years
If Kermit the Frog can still be a scintillating talk-show guest more than a decade after Jim Henson's death, then surely Charlie Brown and his ''Peanuts'' circle of friends can carry on now that their creator, Charles M. Schulz, is gone. ''Lucy Must Be Traded Charlie Brown,'' a half-hour special tonight on ABC, is the fourth ''Peanuts'' film made
Article Link:
NYTimes article
FOR YOUNG VIEWERS; Carry On, Charlie Brown
NYTimes - over 13 years
IT'S the morning of the first day of baseball season, and Charlie Brown, manager of a team that includes Snoopy, Linus and, regrettably, Lucy, is cowering in bed. ''I'm no manager. I can't run a baseball team,'' he says to himself in that small, bleak voice, as the rising sun, in the form of a giant, glowing baseball, peeks through his window.
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NYTimes article
BEST SELLERS: January 21, 2001
NYTimes - about 16 years
Weeks This Last On Week Week List Fiction 1 1 2 FROM THE CORNER OF HIS EYE, by Dean Koontz. (Bantam, $26.95.) A ruthless man, convinced he has a mortal enemy named Bartholomew, stalks a prodigy named Barty who has lost and then regained his sight. 2 2 7 ROSES ARE RED, by James Patterson. (Little, Brown, $26.95.) Detective Alex Cross pursues a
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BEST SELLERS: January 14, 2001
NYTimes - about 16 years
Weeks This Last On Week Week List Fiction 1 1 FROM THE CORNER OF HIS EYE, by Dean Koontz. (Bantam, $26.95.) A ruthless man, convinced he has a mortal enemy named Bartholomew, stalks a prodigy named Barty who has lost and then regained his sight. 2 3 6 ROSES ARE RED, by James Patterson. (Little, Brown, $26.95.) Detective Alex Cross pursues a
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BEST SELLERS: January 7, 2001
NYTimes - about 16 years
Weeks This Last On Week Week List Fiction 1 4 18 THE BEAR AND THE DRAGON, by Tom Clancy. (Putnam, $28.95.) Aided by the antiterrorism specialist John Clark, President Jack Ryan contends with sinister forces afoot in Russia and China. 2 1 6 *THE MARK, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. (Tyndale, $22.99.) The eighth volume of the ''Left Behind''
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NYTimes article
BEST SELLERS: December 31, 2000
NYTimes - about 16 years
Weeks This Last On Week Week List Fiction 1 1 5 THE MARK, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. (Tyndale, $22.99.) The eighth volume of the ''Left Behind'' series, in which the forces of good battle the forces of evil after the rapture of the saved. 2 2 4 ROSES ARE RED, by James Patterson. (Little, Brown, $26.95.) Detective Alex Cross pursues a
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BEST SELLERS: December 10, 2000
NYTimes - about 16 years
Weeks This Last On Week Week List Fiction 1 1 2 THE MARK, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. (Tyndale, $22.99.) The eighth volume of the ''Left Behind'' series, in which the forces of good battle the forces of evil after the rapture of the saved. 2 1 ROSES ARE RED, by James Patterson. (Little, Brown, $26.95.) Detective Alex Cross pursues a
Article Link:
NYTimes article
BEST SELLERS: December 3, 2000
NYTimes - about 16 years
Weeks This Last On Week Week List Fiction 1 1 THE MARK, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. (Tyndale, $22.99.) The eighth volume of the ''Left Behind'' series, in which the forces of good battle the forces of evil after the rapture of the saved. 2 2 3 JOURNEY, by Danielle Steel. (Delacorte, $26.95.) A television anchorwoman in Washington begins to
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lee Mendelson
    THIRTIES
  • 1965
    Age 31
    The 1965 documentary, Charlie Brown & Charles Schulz, was the beginning of a 30 year collaboration between Schulz and Mendelson.
    More Details Hide Details While Mendelson was attempting to find a market for the Schulz documentary, he was approached by The Coca-Cola Company, who asked him if he was interested in producing an animated Christmas special for television. Mendelson was, and he immediately contacted Schulz in regards to using the Peanuts characters. Schulz in turn suggested hiring animator and director Bill Meléndez, whom Schulz had worked with while creating a Peanuts-themed advertising campaign for the Ford Motor Company. Mendelson also hired jazz composer Vince Guaraldi after hearing a Guaraldi-composed song while driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. After a hurried six month production period, A Charlie Brown Christmas aired December 9, 1965 on CBS. The show went on to win both the Emmy and Peabody award, and was the first of over 40 animated Peanuts specials created by the Mendelson, Melendez, and Schulz. In 1968, Mendelson produced the documentary, Travels With Charley based upon the book by John Steinbeck.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1963
    Age 29
    Mendelson left KPIX in 1963 to form his own production company.
    More Details Hide Details His first work was a documentary on Willie Mays, A Man Named Mays. Shortly after the documentary aired, Mendelson came across a Peanuts comic strip that revolved around Charlie Brown's baseball team. Mendelson thought that since he'd just "done the world's greatest baseball player, now he should do the world's worst baseball player, Charlie Brown." Mendelson approached Peanuts creator Charles Schulz with the idea of producing a documentary on Schulz and his strip. Schulz, who had enjoyed the Mays documentary, readily agreed.
  • 1961
    Age 27
    Mendelson's career in television began in 1961, when he started working at San Francisco's KPIX television station, where he created public service announcements.
    More Details Hide Details A fortunate find of some antique film footage of the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair led to Mendelson's first production, a documentary entitled The Innocent Fair. The documentary was the first in a series on the history of the city, San Francisco Pageant, for which Mendelson won a Peabody Award.
  • 1954
    Age 20
    After graduating in 1954, he spent three years in the Air Force where he served as a lieutenant.
    More Details Hide Details He then worked several years for his father, a vegetable grower and shipper.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1933
    Born
    Born on March 24, 1933.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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