Robert Wilson, a TV producer and the father of actors Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson and Andrew Wilson, died at the age of 75 on Friday.

Wilson, whose sons have had strong careers working with renowned directors including Wes Anderson and Woody Allen, had a strong career in his own right. Wilson was the head of KERA in Dallas, a public broadcasting station. As head of the station, Wilson hired Jim Lehrer to host Newsroom, a public affairs show that would go on to launch Lehrer’s career – Lehrer was a long-time anchor on PBS NewsHour.

But Wilson’s TV sensibilities stretched beyond the news as he was the first to bring Monty Python’s Flying Circus to American screens. Wilson ran KERA from 1967 to 1975.

Luke Wilson, 45, confirmed his father’s death to the Dallas Morning News and said that his father passed after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.


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Owen Wilson, 48, spoke with the Dallas Morning News in 2015 about his father’s illness. “It is a rough thing. It’s one of those things where if somebody had said 10 years ago when my dad and I were joking around, having a putting match, that this is the position your dad’s going to be in, where he basically needs 24-hour-care, you’d think, ‘Gosh, I won’t be able to handle that,” Wilson said.

“But it does happen. Such things happen in life. You just have to do your best to deal with it… And then, you sort of still look for the things to be grateful for. He is at home, taken care of , and he has people around him that love him.”

Wilson also credited his father for inspiring them to become actors and find their talents. “For me and my brothers, there just wasn’t a bigger influence on us. Maybe it sounds trite or something, but I really believe that his spirit gets carried on through me, the way I like to joke around.”

Wilson is survived by his wife Laura Wilson, his three sons, and his three grandchildren.

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