Emmy-Winning TV Producer Dies of Lupus Complications
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Emmy Award-winning producer Amy Jill Sacks, recognized for innovative sports production work, died of complications from lupus. She was 39.
Ms. Sacks, senior vice president of a Walt Disney studios subsidiary and former producer for ABC News and ABC Sports, died Friday at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
She was hospitalized six weeks ago, said Howard Sacks, her brother.
″Amy always faced her professional challenges with humor and energy. We will miss her,″ Disney Studios president Rich Frank said in a statement.
Sacks was diagnosed with lupus about three years into her career.
″She didn’t tell people about it,″ her brother said. ″She never felt sorry for herself. She was extremely brave and never complained.″
As senior vice president for Buena Vista Productions, Ms. Sacks was responsible for the Emmy-winning ″Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson″ and Disney’s ″Christmas On Ice″ specials.
Ms. Sacks was one of the first female sports producers. She joined ABC in New York in 1976 after graduating cum laude from Harvard University.
″Before Amy, it was an all men’s club,″ Mr. Sacks said. ″Women in sports didn’t have any hope of becoming full-fledged producers. She was the groundbreaker for all the women that followed her.″
Ms. Sacks won Emmys for ABC’s coverage of the 1984 Summer Olympics and for two specials on the 1988 Winter Olympics. She was associate coordinating producer of ABC’s Wide World of Sports from 1986 to 1989.
She was also senior producer for ABC’s ″Prime Time Live″ and held several other positions for the network, including manager of special projects, manager of program planning and director of on-air promotion.
She is survived by her husband, Joel Feld, a son, her parents and two brothers.
A funeral was held Sunday.