Yet another major Hollywood talent has left us, this one a rare commodity in that town: A down-to-earth family man who, despite his nine-figure fortune, raised his children to be humble, hard-working people.
Prolific TV writer-producer Stephen J. Cannell passed away at his home in Pasadena, Calif., Thursday from complications associated with melanoma. He was 69 years old.
During a career that spanned four decades, Stephen created, produced, wrote and often acted in a slew of popular TV series, including Adam-12, Baretta, The Rockford Files, The A-Team, Wiseguy and 21 Jump Street.
His writing credits exceed 450 TV episodes, while his producing and executive producing credits exceed 1,500.
In 1995, Stephen founded his own studio, and five years later began writing novels. Among his most popular books were those featuring the character of Shane Scully, an LAPD detective.
Most recently, Stephen played himself on the hit ABC series Castle. It was on the occasion of one of those cameos that he chatted with our TV Talk host, Shaun Daily.
During the confab, Shaun congratulated Stephen on the success of daughter Chelsea Cannell‘s entree into showbiz.
“She just booked it and they’re in their second week. Six to nine on the E! Network. It’s called That Morning Show. And she’s one of three co-hosts,” Stephen said.
“I think she’s really doing a good job. I’m so proud of her. She’s worked so hard.
“It’s great when you’ve raised children with everything—which my wife [Marcia Cannell; his high school sweetheart] and I have done, because we were fortunate to have done very well.
“But you don’t want them to become spoiled or entitled. You want them to he hard workers and care about other people’s feelings, and not become Hollywood brats and everything,” he continued.
“I look at all three of my children [in addition to Chelsea, he had another daughter, Tawnia, and a son, Cody]—who are all successful in their careers—and I’m so proud of them because they are nice kids, nice people.
“They don’t go around pretending they’re more important than anybody else.”
Click here to hear Stephen J. Cannell’s interview on The Daily Mix.