Thea Flaum

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Thea Flaum (born Thea Kharasch; September 17, 1938) was a producer of television series and specials. She is best known as the creator of Sneak Previews[1]., the movie-review show featuring Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.[2]. She is currently the president of the Hill Foundation for Families Living with Disabilities, a non-profit organization founded by Thea Flaum and her husband, Robert A. Hill[3].

Contents

Early Life

Thea Flaum was born in Chicago, Illinois. She is the daughter of Sam and Freda Kharasch, and grew up in Chicago. She graduated from Skidmore College in 1960, with a Bachelor’s degree in English literature [4] in 2005.

Career

Television Career

In 1976, Thea Flaum created a television show called Sneak Previews[5].

A few years later, Thea was named Executive Producer for National (PBS) cultural programs for WTTW/Chicago[6]. She created the first national parenting series, “Look at Me,” hosted by Phil Donahue[7]. She was responsible for the “Soundstage” music series and for co-productions with MTV and HBO[8].

In 1984, Thea formed an independent production company based in Chicago[9]. The company focused on family programming--creating, developing and producing dramas, documentaries, specials, series and pilots, for network, cable, syndication and public television.

Productions include: At the Auction[10], The Appraisal Fair and CityScapes for the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV,) From Junky to Funky for DIY and De-Classified, for Tribune Broadcasting[11]. Also Love Hurts[12], a drama for ABC’s AfterSchool Specials series, Christmas Every Day[13] and The Canterville Ghost[14], two animated children’s specials for CBS and Where’s Daddy? for NBC. PBS shows include a record-setting series of seven Les Brown specials[15] ; Ruth Page’s Die Fledermaus[16] ballet, and Ruth Page: Once Upon A Dancer, a biographical portrait of the American dance pioneer and choreographer.[17]

Hill Foundation for Families Living with Disabilities

Thea Flaum is president of the Hill Foundation for Families Living with Disabilities, which was established in 2007 by Thea Flaum and her husband, Robert A. Hill.

The foundation has created FacingDisability.com, a web resource specifically created to connect families who suddenly have to deal with a spinal cord injury with people like them.[18].

Awards

Thea Flaum has won nine Emmy Awards, 10 international film awards, the American Bar Association’s “Silver Gavel” award, the “Best in Media” award from the National Council for Children’s Rights, a Cine “Golden Eagle,”[19] and a “Golden Apple.”[20] In 1993, she was named Chicago’s “Best Producer” by “Screen” Magazine. In 1996, she received the Governor’s Award from the Chicago Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2001, she received their Silver Circle Award for her “significant contributions to broadcasting”. She was given the Focus Achievement Award from Women in Film Chicago in 2006.[21] She also served as National Vice-President of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.[22]

Community Service

Thea Flaum currently serves as a member of the Boards of Trustees of Access Living[23], the Chicago Television Academy[24], the Ruth Page Foundation, the Fund for Innovative Television and the Governing Board of the Chicago Symphony.

Personal Life

Thea Flaum is married to Chicago businessman, Robert A. Hill, the founder and chairman of Floor Covering Associates[25]. They have four children Jonathan and Alison Flaum and Vicki and Miranda Hill.

References

  1. ^ Siskel and Ebert, The Museum of Broadcast Communications
  2. ^ IMDb - Thea Flaum
  3. ^ New Owner for Thea Flaum Productions, Reel Chicago, June 20 2007
  4. ^ Distinguished Achievement Award, Skidsmore Scope, 2005
  5. ^ Tough! Tender! Gritty! Evocative! Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert Live to Dissect Films—and Each Other, People Magazine, August 20 1984
  6. ^ Honoring TV Pioneers, Chicago Tribune October 15 1999
  7. ^ Thea Flaum the most prolific of TV producers honored by WIF Focus Achievement Award,Reel Chicago, October 01, 2006
  8. ^ Thea Flaum the most prolific of TV producers honored by WIF Focus Achievement Award,Reel Chicago, October 01, 2006
  9. ^ Thea Flaum Productions, IMDb
  10. ^ Thea Flaum, New York Times
  11. ^ Thea Flaum developing a 26-episode, offbeat home series for DIY network, Reel Chicago, January 10 2005
  12. ^ Love Hurts - TV Special - Cast & Credits, New York Times
  13. ^ Christmas Every Day (1987) (TV), IMDb
  14. ^ Overview for Thea Flaum, Turner Classic Movies
  15. ^ It's Possible... With Les Brown, New York Times - Television
  16. ^ 'FLEDERMAUS' IN BALLET, New York Times, December 17 1986
  17. ^ New owner for Thea Flaum Productions: employee Dan Lombardi takes over July 1, Reel Chicago, June 20 2007
  18. ^ Life Center: Facing Disability, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago - Life Center
  19. ^ (http://www.reelchicago.com/article/tv-show-producer-thea-flaum-and-multi-talentedbrbonnie-hunt-receive-wifc-focus-awards TV Show Producer Thea Flaum and Multi-Talented Bonnie Hunt Receive WIFC Focus Awards), (Http://www.reelchicago.com Reel Chicago), August 12 2006
  20. ^ Thea Flaum the most prolific of TV producers honored by WIF Focus Achievement Award,Reel Chicago, October 01, 2006
  21. ^ Bonnie Hunt and Thea Flaum Honored by Women in Film/Chicago, Studio Daily
  22. ^ Thea Flaum - Chicago Emmy Bio, Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
  23. ^ Access Living Board of Directors, Access Living
  24. ^ Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences - Board of Director
  25. ^ About Robert A. Hill, Floor Covering Associates