Anne Beatts, original ‘SNL’ writer, ‘Square Pegs’ creator, dead at 74

Anne Beatts, a comedy writer who helped launch “Saturday Night Live” and created the 1980s sitcom “Square Pegs,” died at her California home on Wednesday. She was 74.

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Beatts died in West Hollywood, according to her longtime friend, Rona Edwards, Variety reported.

“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,” Edwards said in a statement. “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.”

Beatts and then-writing partner Rosie Shuster were among the few women to work on “SNL” when the show debuted in 1975, Variety reported. Beatts was also the first female contributing editor to National Lampoon.

Laraine Newman, an original “SNL” cast member, paid tribute to Beatts, tweeting Thursday, “Our Anne- an OG SNL writer passed away yesterday.”

Beatts, who was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won twice, co-created several “SNL” characters, including Todd and Lisa Lupner, Irwin Mainway, Fred Garvin and Uncle Roy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was a writer for “SNL” from 1975 to 1980.

In the early 1980s, Beatts created the CBS comedy “Square Pegs,” which launched the career of Sarah Jessica Parker, Variety reported. The show was canceled due to low ratings after a one-season run in 1982-83.

Born in Buffalo, New York, on Feb. 25, 1947, Beatts attended McGill University in Montreal, where she wrote for the student newspaper, the McGill Daily, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

After “SNL” and “Square Pegs,” Beatts was the co-executive producer for “A Different World” in 1987-88 and was a writer and executive producer for “The Stephanie Miller Show” in 1995.

Beatts also wrote the humor column “Beatts Me!” to the Los Angeles Times between 1997 and 1998, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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