Tonight Show Producer Rudy Tellez Dies Worked on the perennial NBC series in the 1960s January 14, 2009
Rudy Tellez, who served as producer of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the 1960s, passed away Nov. 22 in New Mexico. Tellez suffered stroke in 2002 and had since endured a long struggle to recover.
He and wife Tenaya Torres-Tellez were part owners and on-air personalities at KASK-FM radio in Las Cruces, NM.
The El Paso, Texas, native attended Texas Western University and began his broadcasting career as a producer and on-air personality at El Paso radio station KTSM. Tellez went on to produce a talk show with host Les Crane during the 1960s for KGO in San Francisco. He later produced such television programs as The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder, The Battle of the Network Stars and more.
During his four-year Tonight Show tenure, the producer earned two Emmy award nominations. Tellez later won two Emmys for programs Both Sides Now and Barbour's Half-Hour.
He is survived by wife Tenaya and two sons.