TV producer, writer and novelist Stephen Cannell passed away Thursday night in Pasadena, Calif. Cannell, 69, died due to complications from melanoma.
His work in television started with a scripts for It Takes a Thief, Ironside and Columbo. He served as story editor of Adam-12 its fourth season (1971–1972), and went on to create nearly 40 series, more or less dominating crime TV for the 1970s and '80s. His credits included: The Rockford Files, Baretta , The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Hardcastle & McCormick, Hunter, Riptide, 21 Jump Street, Wiseguy, Booker, Silk Stalkings, and The Commish.
Overall, he reportedly scripted more than 450 episodes, and produced or executive produced over 1,500 episodes.
Cannell appeared as himself on Castle. This morning, Castle star Nathan Fillion tweeted: "Stephen Cannell, For shaping my youth, influencing the pros around me, and participating in Castle, thank you. You will be missed."
In recent years, Cannell turned his attention to fiction. He published 17 novels, 10 of which starred LAPD detective Shane Scully.
Considering his stunning output, many are surprised to discover Cannell suffered from the learning disorder dyslexia. He worked as a spokesperson.
Cannell.com (Official Site)
Classic Stephen J. Cannell TV on DVD (Crime TV)