LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Dick Carson, younger brother of Johnny Carson and a former director on his sibling’s famous late-night talk show who also directed episodes of “The Merv Griffin Show” and “Wheel of Fortune,” has died at the age of 92, his family announced Sunday.
Carson died at his home in Studio City on Dec. 19 after a brief illness. Relatives said he died peacefully, “in the loving embrace of family.”
Along with his brother, Dick Carson grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska and later served in the U.S. Navy, stationed in California.
After his naval service ended, Dick and his wife Pat remained in California, where he went to work in television, first at KOGO TV in San Diego and later for the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles.
He went on to direct “Chucko the Birthday Clown” and “The Soupy Sales Show” before traveling to New York to direct episodes of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” at the beginning of Johnny Carson’s 30-year run as the king of late night.
After almost seven years, he returned to California as director of “The Don Rickles Variety Show,” episodes of Arthur Godfrey’s “Your All-American College Show,” an award-winning episode of “Get Smart” and “The Sammy Davis Show,” as well as commercials and pilots.
He was hired as director on “The Merv Griffin Show” in 1972 and continued in that role until Griffin retired in 1986, except for a brief hiatus. Dick also began directing Griffin’s popular “Wheel of Fortune” game show, which he continued to do for 22 years until his retirement.
He won five Emmy awards during his 43-year career.