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Subject: Michael Trikilis, Playboy TV Producer

Dies at 79
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Date Posted: Friday, February 07, 07:52:22am

Michael Trikilis
July 14, 1940 - December 28, 2019

Michael Trikilis, famed producer for Playboy, loving and cherished husband, father, grandpa, brother, uncle, and loyal friend, passed from this life on December 28, 2019. Michael was born July 14, 1940, in Youngstown, Ohio, to parents of Greek and Italian descent. In school, he excelled in sports, but also discovered acting. While still a teen, he began performing in summer stock and came to Los Angeles at the age of 21 to pursue his dreams in Hollywood. Within a couple of years, Michael was discovered by legendary talent agent, Henry Wilson, and was soon under contract with Warner Brothers as an actor. After landing some small parts in film and television, Michael decided to move into production. He got his start with groundbreaking sports director Andy Sidaris on ABC's Wide World of Sports, and by 1973, Michael was producing films that Sidaris directed. Shortly thereafter, Michael was introduced to Hugh Hefner. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and a remarkable working relationship that continued for more than four decades. A key fixture at the Playboy Mansion during its heyday, Michael remained a member of Hefner's close inner circle until Hefner's passing in 2017. In the mid-1970s, after producing a successful string of Playboy shows for ABC, Hefner put Michael under contract as an executive with the company. He was responsible for developing and selling shows to the major networks. As Hefner's ambitions turned toward cable television, Michael became instrumental in conceptualizing the original programming and style for the upcoming Playboy Channel. It was at Hefner's suggestion in 1981 that he formed Michael Trikilis Productions, Inc. so that he could be the primary supplier of shows. From the time of its launch in 1982, Michael's imprint on the Playboy Channel, and the many facets of Playboy Enterprises, never abated. Michael, a brilliant entrepreneur and award-winning home video producer, created over 500 hours of programming always in the lush visual style that he fashioned for Playboy. Michael created the concept of a Playmate Profile Film and, beginning in 1982, he produced a short film for each Playmate of the Month that coincided with the publication of her centerfold pictorial in the magazine. He was the creative force behind the first on-screen appearances of such Playmate stars-to-be as Jenny McCarthy, Pamela Anderson, Anna Nicole Smith, and Dorothy Stratten. In 1982 he also produced Kenny Rogers's feature film debut, Six Pack for 20th Century Fox. Additionally, he began running Kenny's production company, Lion Share Productions, which was responsible for The Gambler franchise on CBS. Michael was a mentor to many in the industry. His support for emerging talent was enthusiastic and unwavering. He was known to reach out to those whose work he admired and his counsel was highly valued. In every sphere of his life, he was described as endlessly supportive, extraordinarily generous, and always authentic. He loved watching football, playing gin and backgammon, betting on the ponies and trading stories with old friends and show biz pals. Mostly he loved his family. Michael and Melissa Hunt Trikilis, his wife of 31 years and business partner, were known for hosting countless holidays, dinners, and parties. Michael was happiest when he was at home, surrounded by those he loved. Michael will be forever missed by his family and a vast network of friends. He was predeceased by his parents George and Rita Trikilis. He is survived by his adoring wife Melissa Hunt Trikilis, their daughters Taylor Trikilis, Kristen Azevedo, son-in-law Robert Azevedo, grandchildren Karolina Mary Azevedo and Alessandro James Thomas Azevedo, brother Tom Trikilis and sister-in-law Jeanine Trikilis, nieces Megan Tantillo (John Tantillo) and Olivia Trikilis (Sam Shar), and three generations of much-loved in-laws from the Hunt family. Michael has been laid to rest at Westwood Village Memorial Park.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 7, 2020.


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Subject Author Date
IMDb-Friday, February 07, 07:52:55am
Anyone know if Michael Trikilis was ticklish? (NT)What about Jack Nicklaus or Michael Chiklis?Friday, February 07, 08:32:35am

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