Entertainment & Arts

Knight Rider creator Glen Larson dies aged 77

Glen Larson Image copyright AP
Image caption Larson also wrote some of the theme songs to his TV shows

Prolific TV writer and producer Glen Larson has died at the age of 77.

The executive was responsible for a string of action-packed hits, including Knight Rider, Magnum PI, Quincy ME and Battlestar Galactica.

Knight Rider's David Hasselhoff paid tribute on Twitter, saying: "(He) had seven TV series at one time! Without him there'd be no KITT & Michael."

Larson died of oesophageal cancer at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center on Friday night.

Also an accomplished singer and composer, he co-wrote the theme songs for many of his shows, including the frequently sampled tune from Knight Rider and the orchestral score for Battlestar Galactica.

Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Larson was behind some of biggest series of the 1970s and 80s, including the original incarnation of Battlestar Galactica

He was nominated three times for an Emmy, once for a Grammy (for Battlestar Galactica), and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985.

TV powerhouse

Larson was born on 3 January, 1937, to a Swedish immigrant mother and a Swedish-American father in Long Beach, California.

His entertainment career started in the 1950s, when he was a member of the all-male quartet the Four Preps.

He helped write and compose some of their hits, including 26 Miles (Santa Catalina), Big Man and Down by the Station.

Where he would make a lasting mark, however, was in television in the 1960s, working on The Fugitive, Alias Smith and Jones and The Six Million Dollar Man.

Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Magnum PI, with Tom Selleck, aired for eight seasons from 1980 to 1988

By 1968, he had worked his way up to an associate producer on the series It Takes A Thief and quickly rose through the ranks to produce some of the biggest TV shows of the time.

At one point, he had five shows airing at once, his son said.

A list of nearly four dozen TV credits also includes The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, BJ and the Bear, The Fall Guy and the TV movie of The Six Million Dollar Man.

Larson leaves behind his wife, Jeannie Pledger, his brother, and nine children from two different marriages.

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