Stephen J. Cannell, the prolific writer and producer of more than 40 television series, including The Rockford Files, The Greatest American Hero and The A-Team, passed away Thursday night at his home in Pasadena, Calif. He was 69.
The cause of death was reported as complications associated with melanoma.
Over the course of his four-decade-long television career, which began in 1968 when he sold his first script to It Takes a Thief, Cannell reportedly scripted more than 450 episodes and produced or executive produced more than 1,500. His hit series, most of which were crime dramas, included 21 Jump Street, Riptide, Wiseguy, The Commish, Hunter, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Hardcastle and McCormick.
A bestselling author of 16 novels, Cannell also appeared as himself in three episodes of the ABC series Castle.
“He will be missed beyond measure by the Cannell Team and all of us who had the privilege and the plain good luck to know and work with him,” states a message posted this morning on Cannell’s website. “Through the legacy of his body of work, with which he was able to entertain and enrich the lives of millions of viewers and thousands of readers, he will always be with us, living on in our hearts and minds, with fond memories forever.”
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