Saturday, October 02, 2010


The Associated Press reported yesterday that Stephen J. Cannell has passed away:

>>Prolific TV producer Stephen J. Cannell dies
NEW YORK – Stephen J. Cannell, the prolific writer-producer of dozens of TV series that included "The Rockford Files" and "The A-Team," has died at age 69.

Cannell passed away at his home in Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday night from complications associated with melanoma, his publicist said on Friday.

After three decades as an independent producer of TV shows, Cannell in recent years had focused his attention to writing books, and had published 16.

As an actor, he had a recurring role on ABC-TV's series, "Castle.">>

I'd like to add my two cents about Mr. Cannell.

I just met Stephen Cannell in February of this year at Sleuthfest, and I was simply taken with the man. He was the guest of honor and spoke beautifully about his life and family and his work. I blogged about it then and wanted to share it --

>>Lunch was followed by keynote speaker Stephen J. Cannell. He is a man who
>>overcame severe dyslexia to become one of the most successful TV producers
>>ever, then followed up that career by writing bestselling novels. For me, one
>>of the highlights of his talk was the way he spoke about his wife, Marsha, who
>>he has known since the 8th grade. He shared with us that he was constantly on
>>the verge of flunking out of school, but he was "relentlessly positive." And he
>>told us that "you don't have to be the smartest kid in school to get where you
>>want to go." He sure proved that.

I didn't write about how he flew in to Florida with his wife, who suffers from
Alzheimer's disease. He was incredibly solicitous of her, always at her side and
when he couldn't be, he would ask someone else to watch her. He was supposed to take part in a Sunday brunch interview with David Morrell that was to close Sleuthfest,
but his wife wasn't doing well and he ended up canceling that event and taking
her home.

I guess with all the celebrity drama that's always being played out in the media, for me it was rather remarkable to see this Hollywood couple who had been
together for so long.

Rest in peace.

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