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November 16, 2014

GLEN LARSON DEAD AT 77

Producer Glen Larson created dozens of TV series during his heyday, but Battlestar: Galactica was undoubtedly his most popular.

 

Producer Glen Larson created dozens of TV series during his heyday, but Battlestar: Galactica was undoubtedly his most popular.

Producer Glen Larson created dozens of TV series during his heyday, but Battlestar: Galactica was undoubtedly his most popular.

 

Producer Glen Larson passed away Friday, November 14 age age 77. His family released a statement that he succumbed to a long battle with cancer.

Even if you were the most casual TV water in the 1970s, you couldn’t flip the dial without seeing Glen Larson’s name tacked to the credits of a popular action series. He was to NBC was Aaron Spelling was to ABC, a prolific supplier of high-concept, often derivative series that always garnered high ratings.

Knight Rider, B.J. and the Bear, Alias Smith and Jones, and Quincy, M.E. were just a few of the hit series Larson produced for Universal Studios and NBC. He was television’s golden boy and could apparently do no wrong. His fare was perfect for the 1970s, popcorn for the mind, providing an hour’s TV entertainment without stretching the brain cells.

Larson began his career in show business during the 1950s as a songwriter/performer for the male singing quartet, The Four Preps. Music was always his first love, but he yearned to write for television and produce his own programs.

I had slight personal relationship with Mr. Larson, although we never met in person. During the late 1970s I came across an old piece of sheet music featuring a song penned by Larson and his picture on the cover with The Four Preps. I knew he had an office on the Universal Studios lot, so I mailed it to him and asked if he would please autograph it for me.

 

A vintage 1970s portrait of producer Glen Larson.

A vintage 1970s portrait of producer Glen Larson.

A few days later the phone rang, and to my surprise, there was Glen Larson asking to speak to me. He thanked me for sending the sheet music, and chuckled about how young he looked. We chatted briefly about his Battlestar Galactica and his other shows. He told me that when he was with his singing group, he would carry around a black-and-white portable TV so never to miss an episode of The Fugitive, which was his favorite show. He told me how thrilled he was to eventually write a segment of this classic series.

He invited me to write and let him know what I thought of his shows. He said he was interested in my opinions and to please contact him any time.

A few days later an envelope arrived from his office, containing the signed sheet music, and a letter written on some funky Galactica stationary that had a beautiful gold-embossed logo.

I’ll always treasure it!

 

 






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