Steven Bochco, the prolific TV creator responsible for hits including “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law” and “NYPD Blue,” died of cancer Sunday morning, his rep told NY Daily News.
He was 74.
Image: Steven Bochco
The New York native began his career at Universal on shows like “Ironside” and “Columbo” before leaving for MTM Enterprises, where James Earl Jones starred in his first show, the short-lived cop drama “Paris.”
“Hill Street Blues,” however, was his first big hit, earning eight Emmy Awards in its pilot season and accumulating 98 nominations over a seven-season run.The show also featured his signature style — ensemble casts and provocative plots.
After the failure of “Bay City Blues,” Bochco moved to 20th Century Fox where he brought “L.A. Law” to air on NBC in 1986, “Doogie Howser, M.D.” in 1989 and “Cop Rock” in 1990. “NYPD Blue” debuted five years later, only to be followed by a string of disappointing series, including “Murder One” and “City of Angels.”
The writer/producer’s representative, Phillip Arnold, confirmed his death Sunday in a statement to USA TODAY.
“Steven fought cancer with strength, courage, grace and his unsurpassed sense of humor,” the statement read. “He died peacefully in his sleep with his family close by.”
Bochco, diagnosed with leukemia in 2014, underwent a stem cell transplant, receiving bone marrow from an anonymous 23-year-old donor.
“It’s a bolt out of the blue, and completely unexpected,” Bochco said four years ago in a report about his treatment at cancer center City of Hope, posted on the facility’s website. “It’s the last thing in the world you expect when you spend your whole adult life basically working out to be healthy.”
Bochco, a 10-time Emmy Award winner, is survived by three children, daughter Melissa and sons Jeffrey and Jesse.
“Today, our industry lost a visionary, a creative force, a risk taker, a witty, urbane story teller with an uncanny ability to know what the world wanted. We were long-term colleagues, and longer term friends, and I am deeply saddened,” Robert Iger, Chairman and CEO Walt Disney said on Twitter.