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‘Real World’ creator Mary-Ellis Bunim dies

The groundbreaking reality television producer was 57
/ Source: Reuters

Mary-Ellis Bunim, the television producer whose “The Real World” introduced America to reality television, has died, MTV said  Friday.

Bunim, 57, died Thursday in Los Angeles, after a battle with breast cancer.

With partner Jonathan Murray, Bunim/Murray Productions most recently struck gold chronicling the exploits of heiress Paris Hilton and best friend Nicole Richie lived and worked with a rural family on Fox’s “The Simple Life.”

The pair are best known for “The Real World,” the MTV series now in its 14th season featuring a group of young people of diverse backgrounds thrown together in a house for months while cameras follow their every move.

Bunim/Murray also was responsible for series like the syndicated life make-over “Starting Over” and music series ”Making the Band.”

“Mary-Ellis was a one-in-a-million partner and friend, and I will always treasure our incredible years of collaboration,” Murray said in a statement.

Before getting together with Murray in 1987, Bunim was a producer of soap operas. She is survived by a daughter, Juliana.