Wednesday, June 26, 2013

American TV Writer & Proucer Gary David Goldberg Passes On

Gary David Goldberg, creator of the television shows Family Ties, Spin City, and Brooklyn Bridge, died 23 July 2013. The cause was brain cancer.

Gary David Goldberg was born on 25 June 1944 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, but did not graduate. He then attended Hofstra University in New York for a time, before finally graduating from San Diego State University. It was while at San Diego State that he took an interest in writing for television. It was in 1976 that he made his first sales in the medium. That year he wrote episodes of The Dumplings, Phyllis, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Tony Randall Show. He would go on to serve as a producer on The Tony Randall Show. For the rest of the Seventies he wrote episodes of Alice, M*A*S*H, and Lou Grant (on which he also served as a producer). He created the show The Last Resort, which ran from 1979 to 1980.

It was in 1982 that Family Ties debuted. The show was created by Gary David Goldberg and proved to be a hit. It ran for six years and transformed actor Michael J. Fox into a star. He also wrote for and produced the short lived show Making the Grade. Gary David Goldberg also created and produced the short lived show The Bronx Zoo. He also wrote the screenplay for the movie Dad (1989).

In the Nineties Gary David Goldberg created the show Brooklyn Bridge. Although the loosely autobiographical show received relatively good notices, it only lasted two seasons. He wrote the screenplay for the film Bye Bye Love (1995), as well as episodes of Champs and Sugar Hill. In 1996 the show Spin City, which he created with Bill Lawrence, debuted. The show proved to be a hit and ran six seasons. His last work was the screenplay for the film Must Love Dogs (2005).

Gary David Goldberg created one of the most successful shows of the Eighties, Family Ties, as well as one of the more successful shows of the Nineties, Spin City. While I liked Family Ties when I was younger, I don't remember it well enough to say how good it was. I did really like Spin City and I adored Brooklyn Bridge. In fact, while it did not run as long as Brooklyn Bridge or Spin City, I think Brooklyn Bridge was his greatest achievement as a writer and producer.  It was decidedly different from any show on at the time--a well written low key comedy about a Jewish family in Brooklyn in the Fifties. And I think in many respects it was much funnier than Spin City. Regardless, Mr. Goldberg created memorable shows that should really be seen more today than they currently are.

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