Glen A. Larson, the writer and producer behind a series of hit television shows in the 1970s and ’80s, including the original “Battlestar Galactica,” “Knight Rider,” “Magnum, P.I.” and “Quincy, M.E.,” died on Friday in Los Angeles. He was 77.In addition to the TV series mentioned above, Larson worked over the years on The Fugitive, Alias Smith and Jones, McCloud, The Six Million Dollar Man, Switch, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and The Fall Guy. He also served as executive producer of the 1968-70 Robert Wagner spy series It Takes a Thief. A full rundown of Larson’s TV credits can be found here.
The cause was complications of esophageal cancer, his son James said.
Mr. Larson, who was also a singer and a composer, helped write the theme songs for some of his hits, including the frequently sampled tune from “Knight Rider” and the orchestral music behind “Battlestar Galactica,” his son said.
He was nominated three times for an Emmy and once for a Grammy, for the original score of “Battlestar Galactica.” He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985.
“Although Larson was notorious,” says blogger Christopher Mills, “for ripping off popular movies with his shows (he was even sued by 20th Century Fox and George Lucas over Galactica’s similarities to Star Wars), his programs were undeniably entertaining, filled with action, humor and glamour, aimed solidly at family audiences.”
READ MORE: “Glen A. Larson, Creator of TV’s Quincy, M.E., Magnum, P.I. and Battlestar Galactica, Dies at 77,” by Mike Barnes (The Hollywood Reporter).