E. Duke Vincent

Obituary of E. Duke Vincent

E. VINCENT Obituary

April 30, 1932 - February 10, 2024 With profound sorrow I inform you of the passing of my beloved and brilliant husband, E. Duke Vincent, a legendary Blue Angel, an Emmy award-winning television producer and writer, and an accomplished novelist. He died on Saturday, February 10th, 2024, at his home, that he built and loved and called Twin Oaks, in Montecito, California. He was 91.

Duke was born Edward Ventimiglia, the only child of Margaret and Egizio Ventimiglia, on April 30th, 1932, in Jersey City, New Jersey. He went to Bloomfield High and graduated from Seton Hall University. Then, having aviation in his DNA-his father had been one of the Lafayette Escadrille in World War 1-he joined the Navy and became a Naval aviator. He dreamed of being a Blue Angel.

After leaving Glynco, he joined VF-173 in Jacksonville flying the FJ-3 until the squadron was decommissioned. He was then assigned to Va-44 as an instrument instructor flying the F9F-8 and A4D-1. In 1960 he joined the Blue Angels for the 60-61 seasons.
Capt. Zeb Knot told the story, that when he called Duke to tell him he had been recruited to the Team and then asked him how quickly he could get to Pensacola, Duke said. "Hang up the phone and answer the door."

During that time, they flew the F11-F and Duke flew the F8F-8P filming the aerial photo sequences for the NBC Television Series The Blue Angels. It was that experience which sparked his interest in television.
But the thing to know, is that it was this part of Duke's life, Naval Aviation, and the Blues, of which he was most proud, and the men with whom he flew and served would remain a part of his heart, and his closest friends, all the rest of his life.

Duke resigned from the Navy in 1962 and shortly thereafter went to New York where he and a friend, writer, Arnie Kane, applied for a job with RKO General and Seven Arts to write and produce seven one-hour documentaries called Man In Space. They got the job. While in Los Angeles, filming sequences for the series, Duke met with Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard, the executive producers of
The Dick Van Dyke show. After writing a "spec" script for them, he signed on to do their next TV series, Good Morning World. The following year Duke became Producer/Head Writer of Gomer Pyle, and subsequently, The Jim Nabors Hour, Arnie, and The Little People.
During that period (1967-1977), Duke also wrote and produced two telefilms---Panache, and The Imposter.

In 1977 Duke met Aaron Spelling and became his partner in 1978. It was a match made in heaven and remained so until 2006-over 29 years until Spelling's death. Their list of television credits grew to include 43 series, including Dynasty, Hotel, Vegas. Matt Houston, The Colbys, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, and 7 Mini-series---including Jackie Collins' Hollywood Wives and James Micheners' Texas----and 39 movies for television including the Emmy Award- winners Day One and And the Band Played On.

Duke was also executive producer with Spelling on the Warner Bros. Network's long-running series Charmed and on its highest rated and longest running drama –7th Heaven.
During his 40-year Hollywood career, Duke wrote or produced over 2300 hours of film and tape, including 1600 hours of prime-time and over 750 hours of daytime television. His titles when he retired were Executive Producer and Vice Chairman of Spelling Television.
After retirement Duke wrote 4 novels.
Mafia Summer, Black Widow, The Strip, and The Camelot Conspiracy.

He is survived by his wife, Pamela Hensley Vincent

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