Michael Gleason, the co-creator of Remington Steele and producer of such popular series as Diagnosis Murder and Rich Man Poor Man Book 2, died Friday at the age of 78. His death was confirmed on his Facebook page; no cause was listed.
Gleason, a novelist as well as veteran producer, started as a writer for such 1960s series as Rawhide, Laramie, My Favorite Martian, The Big Valley and Peyton Place, continuing through the ’70s with Marcus Welby, M.D., Cannon, McCloud and Rich Man Poor Man Book 2, which he also exec produced.
As co-creator (with Robert Butler) and executive producer of Remington Steele, Gleason launched the career of a pre-James Bond Pierce Brosnan, who costarred in NBC’s lighthearted 1982-87 detective drama with Stephanie Zimbalist (pictured above with Gleason in 2010).
After Steele, Gleason was exec producer on Murphy’s Law in the ’80s and Diagnosis Murder in the ’90s, and continued his writing career with episodes of Lois & Clark, Police Academy: The Series and Charmed, among other credits. In 2013 he wrote crime novel “Working Dirty.”
Funeral services are pending. The Facebook notice reads:
“It is with profound sadness that I release the news that Michael Gleason passed away yesterday morning at the age of 78. There are no words to adequately describe the man who created characters loved by millions of people worldwide. His talent for bringing characters to life was merely a glimmer of the genius diligently typing day and night. Underneath was a man who loved life, who lived it to the absolute fullest, and who gave unconditional love to anyone who knew him. He leaves behind a legacy of joy and laughter, of countless hours of entertainment, and loved ones who will always hold him in our hearts and mind. There will never be another like him.
“Remington fans, Michael’s favorite scene written was Mr. Steele’s fight with the ficus. Watch that scene in his honor and toast the man who truly was Remington Steele.”
According to his “Working Dirty” author bio, he lived in Marina del Rey, California, with his wife Jan and is father to eight children.
Susan Sullivan, who costarred in Rich Man Poor Man Book 2, tweeted her condolences.