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TV and film executive William (Bill) J. Lamb died June 17 in Los Angeles of complications following heart surgery. He was 76.

The public-television pioneer supervised production of such PBS projects as Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, Heritage: Civilization and the Jews, Hollywood Television Theater, American Playhouse and Nature.

A New York City native, he began his television career in 1956 at NBC. In 1962, he joined fledgling PBS station WNET New York. As president of the New York State Network, he secured the first state funding for public-TV stations.

He also served stints at Sterling Manhattan Cable, KCET Los Angeles, film and TV producer Polymuse Inc., and film- and TV-services company Varitel Inc.

Lamb is survived by his companion, Marcie Setlow; a daughter; two sons; and four granddaughters.