Madelyn Pugh, who has died aged 90, carved out a place for herself in television history when she co-created, with Bob Carroll Jr, I Love Lucy, which began the comedy actor Lucille Ball's long-running small-screen career – and is widely regarded as the most successful programme of all time, still screened worldwide. Pugh and Carroll began as a writing partnership at CBS radio, where they scripted Ball's sitcom My Favorite Husband (1948-51). They also created a vaudeville act for the star to perform on stage with her new husband, the Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz.
The slapstick and the "kookie" Lucy character from that act formed the basis of the subsequent television series (1951-57), which Pugh and Carroll devised with Jess Oppenheimer, the head writer and producer, who also transferred from the radio show. Ball played the stagestruck New York housewife Lucy Ricardo,