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Bruce Toms, Reality TV Producer, Dies at 55

Variety logo Variety 12/30/2016 Pat Saperstein
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Bruce Toms, the Emmy-nominated producer of such shows as “Road Rules” and “Celebrity Wife Swap,” died Dec. 25 in Pasadena, Calif. He was 55.

WME reported that he died of natural causes.

Toms was currently on Bravo reality series “Timber Creek Lodge” as executive producer. He was also executive producer on shows including “Secret Millionaire,” “Wife Swap,” “The Judds,” “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” “Nanny 911,” “Paradise Hotel” and “Workout.”

His Emmy nomination came in 2001 for the MTV series “Road Rules” alongside Mary-Ellis Bunim, Jonathan Murray and Rick Telles.

Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., Toms grew up in Coleraine, Minn. and attended the U. of Minnesota Duluth before moving to New York to pursue acting. He starred in the national touring production of “Torch Song Trilogy” and appeared in several television roles.

He joined entertainment industry non-profit Young Artists United in 1985, then began producing and directing when he joined Evolution Media. With Evolution’s Douglas Ross, he produced anti-nuke documentary “Change the World.”

Ross said, “Bruce Toms was a visionary whose creativity was only matched by his compassion and activism to make the world a better place.”

He left Evolution in 1996 and directed productions for Fox, MTV, Bravo and OWN.

Bunim/Murray Productions’ founder Murray remembered that as producer on “Road Rules” and “Love Cruise,” “His talent was enormous. But what made him truly special, was his kind and loving soul.”

His longtime rep, former WME partner Mark Itkin, remembered him as “a lovely, kind and loyal gentleman with a great sense of humor. As a producer he was an excellent storyteller and respected leader.”

Young Artists United co-founder Daniel Sladek said, “From the moment Bruce arrived in our lives, he infused YAU board meetings with wisdom, passion and integrity. We were all in our early twenties and just beginning our careers, and his ability to transform ideas into action was matched by his electrifying charm.”

Toms is survived by his mother Carol; siblings Blake and Lisa, Brian and Cindy, and Julie and Mark; and two nieces.

Memorial services are planned for ‪Saturday, Dec. 31 at 11:00 at Bethel-Trinity Lutheran Church, ‪116 5th Ave, Bovey, Minn. with a luncheon following the service. An additional Life Celebration will be held in the Los Angeles area at a later date.

Donations may be made to Second Harvest North Central Food BankStar of the North Humane Society
 or Alliance for Housing and Healing (HIV/AIDS). This Oct. 14, 2011 file photo shows actress Debbie Reynolds posing for a portrait in New York. In Memoriam 2016


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