January 30, 2004 by

Mary-Ellis Bunim


Categories: Hollywood

mbunim.jpgMary-Ellis Bunim, the co-creator of MTV’s “The Real World,” died on Jan. 29 from breast cancer. She was 57.
Bunim began her TV career in soap operas. She produced more than 2,500 hours of daytime television on shows like “As the World Turns,” “Loving,” “Santa Barbara” and “Search for Tomorrow.”
In 1990, she and Jonathan Murray formed the Los Angeles-based Bunim-Murray Productions, a company that combined his background in TV news and documentaries with her more dramatic experience. Their first project was the 1992 reality series, “The Real World.” The MTV show about seven strangers who move in together and spend a season under constant video surveillance sparked the modern reality TV craze.
Bunim and Murray spent the next decade producing other reality shows geared toward young adults, including “Road Rules,” an MTV show where total strangers are sent on traveling adventures, and the Fox hit, “The Simple Life,” starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. The company tried branching out into “reality” feature films in 2003 with the release of “The Real Cancun,” but it was a critical and box office bomb.

2 Responses to Mary-Ellis Bunim

  1. Kate Berger

    My mother is a breast cancer survivor, I am & always have been a great admirer of MEB’s talent/foresight & dignity in broadcast. Yes, I said dignity, in that, I never felt that she ever exploited anyone, rather, she enriched their lives, & the lives of the viewers. Most especially, my good thoughts & prAyers go out to her spirit & her loved ones (principally her daughter).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *