Saturday, October 02, 2010

I'll Miss You, Stephen J. Cannell

The writer behind many of my favorite TV shows growing up, Stephen J. Cannell, died Thursday evening, September 30. I never met the man, but I am saddened by his passing.

His shows were always entertaining. Some were gritty and brilliant, such as Wiseguy. Some were iconic, such as The Rockford Files. And some were just mindless fun, such as one of my favorite, The A-Team.

Cannell found writing success beyond television scripts penning several mystery novels. He recently did several cameos as one of the title character's poker buddies on the series "Castle" which features a crime novelist working with a NY detective on murder cases. There are even novels tied to the show written by "Rick Castle" that many believe are actually the product of Mr. Cannell's prolific typewriter.

I will always remember him by the ending to his shows which showed him in his office typing away and then pulling the paper out of the typewriter and tossing the sheet in the air. You can see it here.

In reading the tributes in some of the Hollywood industry web sites, the comment section has been quite telling. Invariably when some Hollywood type dies, someone will talk about the deceased's character flaws and failings and why the passing is no big deal. With Mr. Cannell's passing, I have yet to read anything but praise and appreciation for a man who supported and encouraged other writers. He even has an online writing seminar (of sorts) on his web page.

Thanks for the hours of fun, Mr. Cannell.

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