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'Real World' co-creator dies

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Mary-Ellis Bunim

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Los Angeles (California)

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Mary-Ellis Bunim, credited with creating numerous reality TV hits, including MTV's "The Real World," is dead.

Bunim, 57, died in Burbank, California, Thursday after a long battle with cancer, her publicist said.

She began her television career in soap operas. Then, in 1990, she and Jonathan Murray combined the documentary nature of news and the dramatic intrigue of soap operas to create The Real World.

She also co-created "Road Rules," "The Love Cruise," "Making the Band," "The Real World Road Rules Challenge," the reality feature film "The Real Cancun," the real-life daytime drama "Starting Over," and "The Simple Life," Fox network's major prime-time reality hit of the 2003 season, starring Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

"Mary-Ellis was a one-in-a-million partner and friend, and I will always treasure our incredible years of collaboration," Murray said. "Even as the family at Bunim-Murray Productions mourns her loss, we will honor her memory by remaining committed to her ideals of creativity, adventure, and excellence, both on the screen and in our lives."

Bunim is survived by her daughter, Juliana.


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