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Anne Beatts, Buffalo native, SNL writer, dies at 74

Anne Beatts visits Vancouver Film School in 2010.

Buffalo native Anne Beatts, an Emmy-winning comedy writer who helped launch “Saturday Night Live,” died Wednesday at her home in West Hollywood. She was 74. Variety called her "a revered figure in comedy circles given her long resume." Beatts was one of only a few women to work on SNL when it debuted in 1975 and created some of its most memorable sketches, including nerds Todd and Lisa Loopner, the controversial babysitting Uncle Roy and Fred Garvin Male Prostitute.

In 1982, Beatts created the television series "Square Pegs," which became a cult classic and launched the career of actress Sarah Jessica Parker. The CBS comedy lasted only 20 episodes.

She left her mark on more than television. Beatts wrote the Broadway productions “Gilda: Live,” the 1979 musical starring SNL’s Gilda Radner, and the Tony-nominated 1985 musical “Leader of the Pack.” She also was the first female contributing editor to National Lampoon, the humor magazine published 1970-1998.

A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Beatts taught more recently at Chapman University and the University of  Southern California in California and was a widely published author and columnist. Among her books were Titters: The First Collection of Humor by Women and Titters 101: An Introduction to Women's Literature.

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