A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS Producer, Lee Mendelson, Dies At 86
By Allyson Vannatta, Staff Writer
Lee Mendelson, executive producer for many PEANUTS specials including A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS died at the age of 86.
Mendelson died in his home in the San Francisco Bay area on Christmas Day his son Jason Mendelson told CNN.
The producer died of congestive heart failure after a long battle with cancer, said Jason.
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Lee was known for his work on A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, the first special from the PEANUTS series. Lee wrote the lyrics to the popular song “Christmas Time Is Here.”
“We are very sad to lose our wonderful father, but Lee would have said it was serendipitous to pass on Christmas when the song he wrote with Vince Guaraldi is being heard everywhere and the program he created with Charles Schulz and Bill Melendez is being celebrated around the world,” said his son.
He continued, “While it was not a great time for us, it was not a bad time for him to pass.”
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS extolls many Christian themes. Part of Movieguide®’s review reads:
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS upholds a very strong Christian, biblical worldview. It stresses celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ rather than commercialization. Positively, the movie has many Christmas carols throughout and stresses the value of serving others during Christmastime. A few times, characters say the word “stupid,” and at one point, Lucy and Snoopy get into a tiff, but these elements are comical and don’t cast a shadow on the sweet classic movie.
Mendelson is survived by his wife, Ploenta, his children Glenn, Lynda, Jason, Sean; her stepson Ken; and eight grandchildren, reports CNN.