The three-time Emmy nominee died Wednesday in a traffic accident in LA’s Hancock Park, his family told Deadline. Rick Mittleman was 84. He wrote for dozens of TV shows during a half-century career, ranging from The Flintstones and The Dick Van Dyke Show to MacGyver and Early Edition. Along the way he racked up credits on numerous classic series including The Odd Couple; Get Smart; M*A*S*H; Mary Tyler Moore; Bewitched; I Spy; Sanford and Son; Welcome Back, Kotter; and Murder, She Wrote. Mittleman also penned multiple episodes of such shows as Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.; That Girl; CHiPS; Emergency! and What’s Happening.
He shared an Emmy nom for his first TV writing gig, on The Red Skelton Hour (1963), and earned two others for writing on Arnie (1971) and Van Dyke And Company (1975). He began his career as a producer on You Asked For It! in the late 1950s. He later was a producer on Arnie and co-produced and wrote episodes of Simon & Simon.
Mittleman also was active in the Writers Guild of America, serving on its board of directors. He spent more than two decades on its Pension & Health board as well and served many years on the Planning Committee. In 1997, he received the WGA’s Morgan Cox Awards for service to the guild.
He is survived by his wife, Arlene; children Todd, Rachel, and Dana; and grandchildren Leah, Will, Isaac and Mia.