October 1, 2010 / 6:38 PM / 8 years ago

"Rockford Files" creator Stephen Cannell dead at 69

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood writer Stephen Cannell, the producer of TV shows like “The A-Team” and “The Rockford Files”, has died at the age of 69, his family said on Friday.

“Stephen J. Cannell passed away at his home in Pasadena on Thursday evening due to complications associated with melanoma. He was surrounded by his family and loved ones,” the producer’s family said in a statement.

Cannell, who struggled with dyslexia at school, wrote hundreds of episodes for television shows in the 1970s and 1980s and created the character of private investigator Jim Rockford.

“The Rockford Files”, starring James Garner, ran for six years until 1980 and won an Emmy for best drama series.

Cannell also created or co-created almost 40 TV series including “Baretta,” “The Greatest American Hero,”, “Hardcastle and McCormick,” “21 Jump Street,” “The A-Team” and “Wiseguy.”

“Stephen was the pillar of strength within his family and he touched everyone he met. He will be most deeply missed,” the family said.

Cannell is survived by his wife of 46 years, Marcia, their three children and three grandchildren. His family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the International Dyslexia Association or the American Cancer Society.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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