Emmy-winning TV writer ("The Dick Van Dyke Show") and producer ("The Odd Couple") who crossed over to film in 1968, writing and producing the Debbie Reynolds vehicle "How Sweet it Is!" (1968) with partner Garry Marshall. Perhaps his finest work as a screenwriter came with "Smile" (1975), a marvelously pointed satire of the California beauty pageant scene.
Belson made a disappointing directorial debut with "Jekyll & Hyde... Together Again" (1982) and fared only slightly better with the light romance, "Surrender" (1987).