Ron Weaver dies
Ronald Lewis Weaver, a 1955 Dowagiac graduate who won three Daytime Emmy Awards, produced “The Bold and the Beautiful” during 27 years with the soap he helped launch in 1986 and was part of the original team that created “Sesame Street,” died May 11 at his Los Angeles-area home.
He was 75 and also became an author with “Soul Mate.”
Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times all acknowledged his passing.
Weaver credited playing clarinet in Dex Clough’s Orange Bowl-bound Dowagiac band for opening doors which resulted in him going to New York to work with the people who created the Muppets and “Sesame Street,” then to California, where he became senior producer of “The Bold and The Beautiful,” the world’s most-watched daily drama, seen in more than 100 countries by 37 million people.
“I feel blessed to have been a part of two, long-running, world-class series in my career,” he told the Dowagiac Daily News in 2010.
For his novel Weaver assembled blurbs from high-powered pals such as Betty White (“Not since ‘Bridges of Madison County’ have I been so involved in someone else’s very private life”).
In a 2002 interview, Weaver recalled being inspired by Clough, a “man of fierce determination who made dreams come true — qualities I’ve tried to emulate throughout my life.
“I wonder sometimes what my life would have been like without the benefit of the musical training and experiences I was afforded in those years” when he lived in Dowagiac.
“I doubt if I’d be the same person if I had not had those experiences,” Weaver said. “For one thing I wouldn’t have gotten into Michigan State on a band scholarship” to study radio and television, which proved the turning point to all that followed.
He “picked pickles and washed cars with all the rest to help bank enough to pay for the trip to the Orange Bowl. I graduated that year, went to MSU on a band scholarship and in my freshman year went with the MSU band to the Rose Bowl. I guess I must have liked California because I ultimately ended up here” after 20 years in New York City.
Looking back on his school days, the son of Dorothy and Bill Weaver remembered being “a bit of a loner, never quite feeling I ‘belonged,’ and struggling with a feeling of being different. I guess that’s why Dexter Clough was an important person in my life at that time.”
When he was around 10, his dad bought him a recorder. He strung the microphone over his desk from the ceiling of his bedroom and recorded pretend radio shows.
So, of course, at MSU he chose radio/TV as his major.
“I started taking TV production classes and also worked part-time at the TV station as everything from announcer to floor director,” Weaver said.
Then he took Introduction to Drama 101, a requirement of which was trying out for plays produced that term.
He was cast as the Property Man in a children’s theater production called “Land of the Dragon.”
“Well, that was it!” he said. “We went on tour to schools throughout the state and I’m sure that’s what got the greasepaint flowing through my veins. I changed my major to theater arts. I was very successful in young character roles in student productions and I also did summer stock for two years.”
After a short stint on active duty in the Air Force, with $800 in savings and a desire to be an actor, Weaver boarded a plane to New York City.
“People have asked me how I had the courage to do that,” he said. “It never seemed courageous to me. It just seemed to be necessary and the only thing that made sense to me.”
It’s no wonder he believed in destiny.