Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stephen J Cannell - Iconic Creator Of American TV Series

Screenwriter, actor, novelist and producer Stephen Joseph Cannell, who died after a long illness aged 69 on September 30, 2010, will always be remembered as an American television icon.

Born on February 5, 1941 in Los Angeles, he struggled with dyslexia in school, but graduated from the University of Oregon in 1964 with a degree in journalism.

He was quickly hired by the television production branch of Universal Studios and was soon freelance writing for crime shows as Ironside and Columbo.

Not long after, he received his first full-time gig as the story editor of Jack Webb's police series Adam 12.

Cannell created or co-created nearly 40 television series, mostly crime dramas, including The Rockford Files, The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Wiseguy, 21 Jump Street, Silk Stalkings and The Commish.

In the process he had, by his own count, scripted more than 450 episodes, and produced or executive produced over 1,500 episodes.

Cannell also acted occasionally in his series Renegade.

He also served as the host of the 1995–1996 documentary series US Customs Classified.

In the 2000s, Cannell turned his attention to novels. He wrote 14 novels.

He discussed his experiences as a dyslexic in Dislecksia: The Movie. Wikipedia.