Legendary comedy writer Anne Beatts was one of the original writers for Saturday Night Live when it premiered in 1975, penning clever sketches for the likes of Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, and John Belushi. It was just announced that Beatts passed away at the age of 74.
Before joining SNL, Beatts was the first female contributing editor at National Lampoon. She also wrote and performed during the National Lampoon Radio Hour. She also created the sitcom, Square Pegs, which aired on CBS, and starred Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Linker, and more.
Beatts said in an interview in 2009, “I always say very freely when people ask, ‘how did you get into comedy?’ I say ‘the same way that Catherine the Great got into politics...It wasn’t like some Machiavellian scheme on my part, it was just that I was attracted to people who were doing things that I wanted to do.”
She went on to win two Emmys for her writing on SNL and worked with her writing partner, Rosie Shuster, on iconic characters like Uncle Roy, Todd and Lisa Loopner, and Newman’s Child Psychiatrist.
Beatts’ comedic writing was groundbreaking SNL and not only paved the way for the show’s 45 season success, but also has helped provide opportunities for more female writers to join the SNL ranks. Her wit and edge will be missed. Our hearts go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.