Anne Beatts, Original SNL Writer and Comedy Pioneer, Dies at 74

Comedy writer Anne Beatts, best known for being one of the original writers on Saturday Night Live as well as contributing to the National Lampoon comedy magazine, has passed away. Deadline brings word of Beatts passing, which happened yesterday. Beatts was 74. Beatts is survived by her daughter Jaylene Beatts, sister Barbara, brother Murray, and two nieces, Kate and Jennifer. SNL was Beatts' home for five years and where she won two Primetime Emmy Awards for her writing. Some notable characters that she created at the time were Dan Aykrord's Irwin Mainway and Fred Garvin: Male Prostitute, plus Buck Henry's Uncle Roy.

"Anne was a pioneer – she truly paved the way for women in comedy and female comedy writers in particular who may not have had their shot if Anne hadn't come before them – but overall, she was my friend – my heart is completely broken," Rona Edwards said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "She was one of a kind and no one can ever replace her wit, her wisdom, and her talent, but to me, nothing can ever replace her friendship and humanity."

Following her tenure on Saturday Night Live, Beatts would go on to create, write, and produce for multiple other television shows including the 1982 comedy Square Pegs, one of Sarah Jessica Parker's first role. Reacting to the news of Beatts' passing on Twitter, Parker wrote:

"Sruggling to find adequate and appropriate descriptive words to describe her singular self. I need time. Cause I'm coming up short. Gosh, she was really something. RIP Anne. Thank you. For memories very few 17/18 yr olds get to make."

Actress Natasha Lyonne actually played Beatts in the 2018 Netflix feature A Futile and Stupid Gesture, a film that chronicled the "rise and fall" of National Lampoon. Lyonne paid tribute to Beatts on social media as well, writing: "So much love & respect for the great #AnneBeatts. Was an honor to play you & know you."

Some of Beatts' other television credits include penning an episode of Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre, The Stephanie Miller Show, and the TV movie The Elvira Show.

Regarding her time on Saturday Night Live, Beatts reflected on it in an interview with Time back in 2015, saying: "My friends kept on anticipating it would get canceled. They thought it was too hip for TV, that all the good stuff always gets canceled—which is funny after 40 years."


Our thoughts remain with Beatts family and friends during this time.

(Cover Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for AT&T)