Edward Smith Scott, a radio and television broadcaster who played the role of “Sheriff Scotty” in a popular Denver-based TV show in the 1950s, died Tuesday at home of natural causes.
He was 91.
Scott was a young, 20-something, broadcasting pioneer when he debuted the role of Sheriff Scotty — a grizzled, 70-year-old lawman on the black-and-white television show that ran for nearly a decade. In the popular children’s show. the sheriff urged followers, called his posse, to “do their chores, obey their folks and treat their friends with honesty and respect,” according to the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences website.
Scott was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Colorado Hall of Fame in 2005.
Born on Aug. 4, 1928, in Denver, Scott attended Englewood High School and the University of Washington. He began his television career in 1949 as a freelance actor, show host and announcer in Chicago.
Scott moved to Denver in 1953, and his career in television took off, in part because of the Sheriff Scotty character. At one point during the show’s nine-year run, about 28,000 kids submitted posse membership cards, and the show’s ratings were among the best in the market.
“During the show, he would take a little break from the action and tell the kids: ‘Let’s drink some milk,’ ” recalled Dick Kreck, a longtime Denver Post staff writer and columnist who covered television.
Sheriff Scotty would drink a glass of milk on air, and the audience would join him.
“He was a good guy,” Kreck said of Scott. “He wasn’t a frantic host. He was quite clam and matter-of-fact with the kids. He always talked to the kids on their level.”
During a 45-year career in Denver TV, Scott was a producer, host, announcer, analyst, narrator and puppeteer at various stations including KMGH, KUSA, KCNC, KWGN and Rocky Mountain PBS. He won a first-place Telly award — a national recognition — for his work on the documentary “There Was a Time.” He’s a former chairman of the board of directors for the Broadcast Pioneers of Colorado.
In the 1960s, Scott founded KLAK-AM radio in Denver. He went on to own an additional Denver radio station and another in the Kansas City area.
While working in television and radio, Scott entered the political arena in the 1950s, holding a succession of offices, including Englewood councilman and mayor, Arapahoe County commissioner and state senator.
Scott was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church, where he was involved in church and school activities and where he served as a committee chairman, president and director.
He is survived by his wife, Agnes; his children, Wendy Lanser, Cynthia Bier, the Rev. Bradford Scott, Rebecca Wilson and Jonathan Scott; 15 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and four stepgrandchildren.
Private funeral services will be at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church with interment at Golden Cemetery.
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