Gary Menteer was a producer, director and writer, best known for his work on the classic television sitcom Family Matters. The long-running Perfect Strangers spin-off centered on the Winslow family and their annoying neighbor Steve Urkel. Menteer served as a producer on the series for 163 episodes, as well as a director for 27 and a writer for 25.
He had a long career in television, and worked frequently with famed television producer Garry Marshall. Menteer also performed triple-duty on the series Punky Brewster and Malcolm & Eddie. He was nominated as a producer for two Emmy Awards for the former, in 1985 and 1986, in the category of Outstanding Children’s Program.
Additionally, he worked as a producer and director on Laverne & Shirley, as well as a producer and writer on Joanie Loves Chachi, Second Chance and On Our Own. He was also a producer on Blansky’s Beauties and Happy Days, a director on She’s the Sheriff, and a writer on Built to Last and Eve.
Menteer began his career as an actor and dancer, getting his start on Broadway, where he landed a role in the original 1957 production of The Music Man. He later moved into musical films, appearing in Bye Bye Birdie, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Mary Poppins, Inside Daisy Clover, Finian’s Rainbow, Funny Lady and Hello, Dolly.
He parlayed his dancing experience into work as a choregrapher, contributing to Blanksy’s Beauties, The Judy Garland Show and Happy Days, as well as the specials The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special and Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore, starring Cass Elliot of The Mamas & the Papas.
Menteer died January 18, 2016, in Rancho Mirage, California. He was 76.