TV Producer, Writer Stephen Cannell Dies at 69

Business Jet Traveler » December 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 11:00pm

Writer and television and movie producer Stephen J. Cannell, who was
featured in
BJT

's February/March 2010 issue, passed away September 30. According to his family, Cannell, 69, was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma on Easter, and a day later was told that the cancer had spread to his brain.

Cannell-who owned a Learjet 55 and a Gulfstream III that he used for book tours and other travel-created, wrote and produced many popular television shows, including The Rockford Files, 21 Jump Street, The Commish, The A Team, Wiseguy and Tenspeed and Brownshoe. His latest Shane Scully mystery novel, The Prostitute's Ball, was released in October. Before he died, he completed another one, with the working title Vigilante, which is set for publication next fall.

"I don't want to be remembered as William Shakespeare or as the most venal talentless person who ever lived," Cannell said during his BJT interview. "When I'm gone, it's over. And people will make their own choices about me and hopefully what I've done is left great kids behind and a wife that's had a good life."

Cannell is survived by his wife Marcia, three children and three grandchildren.

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““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”

-—actor and comedian Ricky Gervais