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Phil Leslie, Writer For Radio’s Popular ‘Fibber McGee and Molly’ Dead At 79

September 24, 1988

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Writer Phil Leslie, who for more than a decade created the comic antics of ″Fibber McGee and Molly″ that kept millions of radio listeners laughing, has died at age 79.

Leslie died of cancer Friday at his suburban San Fernando Valley home, said his son, Phil Leslie Jr.

The writer, who also brought the popular characters ″Major Hoople″ and ″Beulah″ to radio in other shows, wrote in later years for such television programs as ″The Lucy Show,″ ″Dennis the Menace″ and ″The Brady Bunch.″

Leslie was working as an usher and manager of theaters in St. Louis and mailing free-lance scripts to Hollywood when comedian Al Pierce asked him to come to California and write for his show. Pierce soon retired, however, and Leslie returned to free-lancing, writing for Bob Hope, Roy Rogers and others.

He became the main writer for the ″Fibber McGee and Molly″ show during the show’s heyday in the early 1940s after the show’s creator, Don Quinn, left. He stayed on until it ended in the 1950s.

He later said working with the show’s stars, Jim and Marion Jordan, during that period represented ″the 13 happiest years of my writing life.″

In addition to his son, Leslie is survived by his wife, Helen, and three daughters. Funeral services were set for Monday in Los Angeles.

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