Stephen J. Cannell: Friends and fans remember the TV producer

Friends and celebrity fans of television legend Stephen J. Cannell have issued comments — or taken to their Twitter accounts — to mourn the late writer and producer, who died Thursday at 69 years old. Here’s what they’ve said:

Kevin Spacey, who starred in Cannell’s Wiseguy, to EW: “Stephen J. Cannell gave me my very first break in television when he cast me as Mel Profitt in the CBS series Wiseguy [in] 1997. The character was such a glorious creation on such a terrific series, which led to so many other opportunities for me as an actor, that I will never forget his grace, wit, style of writing and ability to bring such memorable work to television. From Rockford Files to Black Sheep Squadron, his impact on emerging writing talent – which he always gave support toward – continues to bring great writing to actors and directors in the film industry. He has left a huge legacy that his family, friends and colleagues can take great pride in. He was a giant.”

William Katt, star of Cannell’s The Greatest American Hero, to EW: “More than the extraordinary writing talent that everyone in the industry knew Stephen as, I will remember him for being one of the best people I have ever had the privilege to know. A beautiful man, a compassionate soul, an excellent friend, he was one of the greatest mentors in my life. I will miss him terribly.”

Lorenzo Lamas, star of Cannell’s Renegade, to EW: “A rare combination of creative genius and humility. Above all else, a true gentleman, whose graciousness allowed me and many other actors to further their artistic dreams. I have auditioned for many writers and producers in my career, but Stephen stepped up and gave me the biggest role of my lifetime. He will be missed.”

Rob Estes, who starred in Cannell’s Silk Stalkings, to EW: “Stephen brought a down-to-earth and human touch to every aspect of his life, including his producing.  He was a wonderful mentor and a wonderful friend.”

Patton Oswalt: “In memory of Stephen J. Cannell, everyone rip a sheet of paper out of your typewriter and let it fall to the ground.”

Jeri Ryan: “Wow. Rest in Peace, Stephen J. Cannell. The man was a tv legend.”

Holly Robinson Peete: “Rest In Peace Stephen J. Cannell…thank you for taking a chance on me in ’86…I will never forget you, I love you…”

Gregg Hurwitz: “Stephen Cannell passed away today. The ultimate gentleman. Rest in peace.”

Frank Conniff: “And so Celebrity Carnage Week ends with the death of one more talented individual. Rest In Peace, Stephen J. Cannell.”

Robin Leach: “Stephen Cannell was loved in Hollywood as a real standup guy and gentle-man. Tragic death at just 69 years of age from melanoma.”

Read more:
Stephen J. Cannell, TV producer, dies

Comments (26 total) Add your comment
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  • Henry

    He was a titan of television and will be sorely missed.

  • TQB

    His shows were wonderful – the perfect blend of humor and action. Rockford, Hunter, A-Team… his bio is a list of my favorite shows. What a legacy. RIP

  • Bobbie Weiner

    I worked with SC and did his makeup on Renegade, ” Dutch”. What a gentleman!
    Bobbie Weiner

  • Tina

    Sheesh. Wasn’t he on Castle last year? He seemed fine, looked good. Really, 69 is way too young. Love to his family.

  • Matt

    Well, there’s the next triad of deaths — Curtis, Giraldo and now Cannell. Rest in peace to them all.

  • Lori Wyman

    I had the honor of introducing you at your book signing and casting for you on 2 of your shows. You were an inspiration. And you will be missed.


    We were so fortunate to have his talent in our living rooms. I still watch “Rockford” because with classic arts there is no much thing as a “re-run” just an encore. Thank you, Mr. Cannell, and rest in peace.

  • Carla Williams

    As a father and family man, hard to find much better. My daughter had the best times with the family. C.D. Williams

  • dc

    Wiseguy was a great show, very groundbreaking in the use of “story arcs” with incredible guest performances by Stanley Tucci, Jerry Lewis, Deborah Harry, Glen Frey, Tim Curry, and especially, Kevin Spacey unforgettable as Mel Profitt.

  • Bob Kinney

    It was very hard not to like shows that Stephen J. Cannell produced. Some of them may seem campy, but were liked nonetheless. RIP Stephen, all of your fans mourn with respect.

  • Brett Brecher

    I have been a fan of Mr. Cannell for years he made so many great shows I just met him back in march in la jolla and he was so humble and really down to earth I had the pleasure of talking to him for a while rest in peace stephen

  • B Duncan

    Thanks for “Tenspeed and Brownshoe”

  • Ron

    I am a big fan of many of Mr. Cannell’s television shows, he has given us many hours of quality entertainment! Thank you Mr. Cannell, you will be missed.

  • anthony

    thank you mr.cannell for your tuesdays with mr t your sundays with depp your sats with the commish and sat afteroons with reno you will surely be missed god bless u a team final body of work ever weither i like the hill 21js or not your are the man gbu

  • anthony

    gbu steve thks you for tues with t your sun with depp sat with the commish and sat noon with reno at mov was your final work and 21 jump street movie or not youre the man gbu

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