Dick Carson has died at 92 … brother of late Johnny Carson won five Emmys for his directing work on TV

  • Carson’s family said he passed away December 19 at his Studio City, California home in the wake of a brief illness
  • He had directed shows such as The Merv Griffin Show, Wheel of Fortune and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
  • He won three Emmys for his work on The Merv Griffin Show and two for Wheel of Fortune

Johnny Carson’s brother Dick Carson, who won five Emmys for his work directing on TV, has died at the age of 92.

Carson’s family said he passed away December 19 at his Studio City, California home in the wake of a brief illness, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Among Carson’s work directing included The Merv Griffin Show from 1972-1986, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson from 1962-1966, The Don Rickles Show from 1968-1969 and Wheel of Fortune from 1979-1999, according to iMDb.

The latest: Johnny Carson’s brother Dick Carson, who won five Emmys for his work directing on TV, has died at the age of 92. 

The Clarinda, Iowa-born director initially relocated from Los Angeles to New York after Johnny Carson had been tapped to host the NBC late night show, and directed episodes hosted by show biz icons such as Jerry Lewis, Groucho Marx and Merv Griffin until Johnny’s ABC contract had expired.

After departing The Tonight Show, Dick directed The Don Rickles Show as well as episodes of The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show, Get Smart and multiple specials.

His work on The Merv Griffin Show garnered him Daytime Emmy awards in 1974, 1983 and 1985. He also won a pair of Emmys on Griffin’s game show Wheel of Fortune in 1986 and 1997.

Dick chat with the Directors Guild of America in 2015 about his late brother Johnny, who died in January of 2005, recalling how the late night icon was his ‘hero.’

Johnny and Dick Carson were snapped at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas in 1973 

Dick, seen in 1970, had won five Emmy Awards for his work directing TV shows 

Dick and Johnny were snapped chatting at an event in September of 1972

He said of Johnny: ‘He got into magic very early, very early. And got into it and started doing magic shows for different places. I would go along and carry the luggage or bring in the props and things like that.’

Dick recalled how Johnny, who was four years older than him, was supportive when he went to work for Griffin on CBS, who was positioned as competition to the late night legend at the time.

‘I think Merv loved to have Johnny Carson’s brother there,’ Dick said. ‘But first I called Johnny and I said, “John, you won’t believe [this], I just got a call from the Griffin people to direct his show, opposite you. And how does that affect you or how, what do you think?” He said, “Hey, it’s work,” because he had been out of work many times in the early days. “It’s work.”‘

Dick had graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1952 and did a three-year stint in the U.S. Navy and an 11-year stint in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Dick is survived by wife Karlyn; children Douglas, Christopher and Kathleen; grandchildren Lindsey, Melissa and Chase; and great-granddaughter Peyton. His first wife Patricia passed away in 1986.

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