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October 4, 2015

Stephen J. Cannell, Creator of 'The A Team' and 'The Rockford Files,' Dies

by Jean Bentley, posted Oct 1st 2010 3:10PM
Stephen J. Cannell'The A Team,' '21 Jump Street' and 'The Rockford Files' creator Stephen J. Cannell died yesterday evening due to complications with melanoma, his family told 'Entertainment Tonight.'

In a statement to the show, the family told 'ET' that Cannell, 69, was "surrounded by his family and loved ones" at the time of his death. "Aside from being a legendary television producer and prolific writer, Stephen was also a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, and a loyal friend. Mr. Cannell is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 46 years, Marcia, their three children, Tawnia, Chelsea and Cody and three grandchildren. Stephen was the pillar of strength within his family and he touched everyone he met. He will be most deeply missed."

Cannell, author of 16 novels, struggled with dyslexia and became a spokesperson for the disease. Instead of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society or The International Dyslexia Association.

A memorial service is being planned, though no details have been released yet.

Watch Stephen Cannel answer fan questions about 'Castle'

Plus, watch some of Cannell's most famous shows online:

'The A-Team'

'The Rockford Files'

'21 Jump Street'

'The Commish'

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He was one of the most talented individuals in the television industry who gave us thousands of hours of quality and enjoyable television entertainment. From his picture accompanying this article you can see by his tanned skin that he spent a great deal of time in the sun; obviously too much time in the sun without protection as he died from complications of the deadly and difficult to treat skin cancer, melanoma. Had he spent less time in the sun's rays he probably would still be here enjoying life and contributing to the happiness of others. Let that be a lesson to the younger generations; don't spend too much time in the sun, especially without protection. God rest his soul, and may his family find peace and contentment in the knowledge that he led such a wonderful and richly fulfulling life which contributed so much happiness and enjoyment to so many others.

October 02 2010 at 5:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

T'would that he would have been allowed to write in an era that didn't insist the good guys fire 1000 rounds and hit nothing. RIP Mr. Cannell

October 02 2010 at 2:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C. W. Joiner

An awesome creative talent. I read all his books and it was a shock to see such an inspiration pass on so early.

October 02 2010 at 2:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They were great shows and he always managed to get a big name star to play in them. Peppard, Garner, Depp, etc. He goes way back to the 70's so he was a relatively young man when his career was put in motion. What a talent.

October 02 2010 at 1:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As an aspiring Writer in the 90's, my Partner and I pitched an idea to our Agent and the next day were told we were scheduled to have a meeting with "One of Cannell's people". There were dozens of VP's, so we assumed we'd probably meet someone's niece, or pool guy. Were we surprised when the door opened and there sat the Man himself, magical typewriter and all. "You guy's hungry?" Five minutes later we were in a limo on our way to lunch with one of the most talented Writer/Producers in the Industry, pitching our nervous little hearts out to a thoroughly accessible, receptive Hollywood "Titan". Nothing became of the project--possibly because it was a Half-Hour Comedy, or maybe he'd noticed I'd wet myself simply listening to his great storie...But I will always remember the generosity of Spirt, the sharp Storytelling Mind, and the fact that I can say "Stephen Cannell bought ME lunch!!!!" So sad that another one of "The Good Guys" has left too soon. Turn on your TV and tell me you don't miss him already. RIP, Mr. Cannell. We'll see you in Syndication...

October 02 2010 at 1:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Very sad to see that this icon had passed. Like many of you i watched and loved many of his shows. It is because of Mr.Cannell that i have wrote and created my own TV series, Will it ever air on Tv probley not,but seeing what this great man did makes me never give up on it. R.I.P Mr.Cannell

October 02 2010 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks, Mr. Cannell for making so many of us happy over the years with your work. May God Bless you for that. It is good to know, however, that your friend, Mike Post, has NOT passed on. You will be missed.

October 02 2010 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just watched Mr. Cannell on KUSI TV here in San Diego a few months ago. He was jovial and talking about visiting the TV studio again in the near future. Hard to believe he's gone. Always liked him! My friend's sister played the female role on the A-Team near it's end. Rest in peace Steve!!

October 02 2010 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bummer. RIP Mr. Cannell. Another cool show he made was "Renegade," with Lorenzo Lamas. Remember that?

"He was a cop, and good at his job. But he committed the ultimate sin, and testified against other cops gone bad. Cops that tried to kill him, but got the woman he loved instead. Framed for murder, now he prowls the badlands. An outlaw hunting outlaws, a bounty hunter, a Renegade."

October 02 2010 at 12:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

May he rest. A force in entertainment.

October 01 2010 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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