Jan DeWitt Dies: ‘Bones,’ ‘Judging Amy’ Producer Who Worked In Hollywood For Nearly 50 Years, Was 75

Jan DeWitt, who produced over 500 hours of television and features, including many episodes of Bones and Judging Amy, died as a result of Covid on the morning of January 29 at his home in Santa Barbara. His friend and partner, Charlene, was by his side and his daughter, Anika, was on the phone from Colorado when he passed. He was 75.

DeWitt worked all over the world in various capacities. He earned his National Maritime Union seamanship papers and traveled up the Mekong River with a boat full of ammunition when he was 18; then studied agriculture in college and found himself working on a farm in Australia before he was 21. Finally, he landed in Spain as assistant to the prop master on a feature film written by his father, Jack DeWitt, called A Man in the Wilderness. He never looked back.

In Hollywood, the Santa Barbara native worked his way up from prop assistant to co-executive producer on Bones. He was known for coming in under budget and keeping people on track and on time while solving problems with creativity and clarity.

He worked as a coordinating producer on Touchstone’s Nowhere Man for two seasons and producer and co-producer for four seasons on Fox’s The Pretender. Prior to that, he did second unit and AD work on a string of shows such as Darkroom, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Miami Vice and The New Leave It to Beaver, for which he also directed an episode. He worked in various capacities on three Burt Reynolds vehicles: Stroker Ace, B.L. Stryker and Cannonball Run II.

DeWitt spent his “retirement” at his home in Santa Barbara or traveling in his Airstream, as well as mentoring aspiring filmmakers, consulting on various projects and writing children’s stories.

Services are pending, but will be held this Spring/Summer in Santa Barbara. In the meantime, his family has set up a page for those who knew and worked with DeWitt to share their memories.

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