Los Angeles: Howard Schultz, a prolific TV producer whose most recent hits included "Dating Naked" and "Are You the One", has died while on a vacation in Hawaii.
He was 61, and there was no immediate word on a cause of his death on December 29, reported Variety Online. Schultz was head of Lighthearted Entertainment, the banner he founded in 1992.
During his long career in TV, Schultz produced series such as "Studs", "Extreme Makeover", "The Moment of Truth" and "The Big Date". He was respected for his ability to move quickly in development and handle production matters.
"Beyond Howard's incredible television acumen existed a man who truly cared for everyone he encountered in a way unique from anyone I have ever met. TV has lost a visionary mind, and we have lost a mentor in life," said Rob LaPlante, exec VP of Lighthearted.
Mike Darnell, president of Warner Bros Unscripted and Alternative Television, hailed Schultz as a "fearless producer".
"No matter how crazy or irreverent a concept was, he would go at it full force and with no regrets. He was an absolute pleasure to work with, straightforward, funny and someone you could always count on. I am shocked and saddened by the news and my heart goes out to his family," Darnell said.
Schultz began his career in Chicago, working as a live TV producer at ABC powerhouse WLS-TV. He moved to Los Angeles and developed "Real People", a forerunner of primetime docu-reality shows that ran on NBC from 1979-84.