Saturday, March 12, 2011

Celebrity Grave: "Columbo" Writer & Producer Richard Levinson 1987


Richard Levinson (August 7, 1934 - March 12, 1987) was an American writer and producer who often worked in collaboration with William Link. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Economics in 1956. He served in the United States Army from 1957-1958. He married actress Rosanna Huffman in 1969.

William Link and Richard Levinson co-created and produced the detective television series Columbo, Mannix, Ellery Queen, Murder, She Wrote and Scene of the Crime. They also collaborated on several made-for-TV movies including My Sweet Charlie, That Certain Summer, The Judge and Jake Wyler, The Execution of Private Slovik, Charlie Cobb: A Nice Night for a Hanging, and Blacke's Magic, which was also developed into a short-lived TV series. The partners also collaborated on two feature films: The Hindenburg (1975) and Rollercoaster (1977). Levinson and Link occasionally used the pseudonym 'Ted Leighton,' most notably on the telefilm Ellery Queen: Don't Look Behind You, where their work was substantially re-written by other hands, and Columbo when they came up with stories to be scripted by their collaborators.


In 1979, Levinson and Link received a Special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for their work on Ellery Queen and Columbo. During the 1980s, they were three-time winners of the Edgar for Best TV Feature or MiniSeries Teleplay, and in 1989 they were given the MWA's Ellery Queen Award, which honors outstanding mystery-writing teams. In November 1995, they were jointly elected to the Television Academy Hall of Fame.


Levinson died of a heart attack at the age of 52. His ashes are located at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.


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