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Plugged In

‘Wheel of Fortune’ wheel designer, Ed Flesh, dies at 79

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The Wheel (Sony Pictures)

The creator of one of the most iconic set pieces in game show history has died.

Art Director Ed Flesh, credited with designing the massive wheel used in game show staple 'Wheel of Fortune', passed away on July 15 due to congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, reports The Hollywood Reporter. He was 79 years old.

Flesh worked on countless game show sets over the years, including 'Jeopardy!',' Name that Tune', and 'Press Your Luck'.

But his most lasting design was the big wheel. While most game shows featured a vertical spinning wheel, Flesh was the one who came up with the idea of having the 'Wheel of Fortune' wheel spin horizontally. The show has gone on to become the longest-running syndicated game show in TV history and has enjoyed success on various video game systems and even Facebook.

"He truly was a master of his craft," said Bob Eubanks, host of The New Newleywed game, another Flesh production.

Flesh attended Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., followed by graduate study in scenic design at the Yale Drama School. He then relocated to New York, where he designed off-Broadway projects. Eventually that landed him a job at NBC as supervisor of scenic design. In addition to his game show work, Flesh was the senior art director on 'Days of Our Lives' and designed sets for David Letterman, Montel Williams and Orpah Winfrey.

In 1993, Flesh was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his work on the game show 'Supermarket Sweep'. He is survived by his partner of 44 years, David Powers.

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