Leonard Goldberg, a leading TV and film producer and executive whose hits range from TV’s “Charlie’s Angels” and “Blue Bloods” to the film “WarGames,” died Wednesday at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 85.
Goldberg, who was surrounded by family, died of injuries suffered in a fall, according to a statement regarding his death.
The New York native, who partnered with Aaron Spelling on numerous hit TV shows, also served as program chief for ABC and president of 20th Century Fox during a long entertainment career.
Spelling-Goldberg shows became TV staples in the 1970s. They include such familiar names as “Charlie’s Angels,” “T.J. Hooker,” “Fantasy Island,” “Hart to Hart” and “S.W.A.T.” Goldberg won an NAACP Image Award for “The Rookies.”
More recently, Goldberg was a producer of “Charlie’s Angels” TV and film reboots. He also is an executive producer of the popular CBS police drama “Blue Bloods,” now in its 10th season, and he served on the CBS Corp.’s board of directors from 2007 to 2018.
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During Goldberg’s tenure at 20th Century Fox, the studio produced such hits as “Broadcast News,” “Big,” “Die Hard,” “Wall Street” and “Working Girl.”
While he was at ABC, the network’s shows included “The Mod Squad,” “That Girl” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.” and he developed the made-for-television movie format. He later won an Emmy for the 1984 TV film “Something About Amelia.”
He was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2006 and he has a star on the the Hollywood Walk of Fame, according to his Television Academy biography.
Numerous friends and colleagues from the entertainment industry issued statements praising Goldberg, who is survived by his wife, Wendy, a daughter, two sons and five grandchildren.
“Charlie’s Angels” star Jaclyn Smith: “I met Len 40 years ago. He was an important part of the richest years of my career. It was this shared history that became a wonderful friendship. I have the greatest respect for him not only professionally but more importantly as a loving family man. Len, you are now truly surrounded by angels.”
Actor Samuel L Jackson: “Leonard Goldberg had that unique quality of making anyone feel comfortable (and) special in his presence. My wife, daughter (and) I are thankful for the joy of our friendship, we’ll miss him dearly!”
Judy Sheindlin (“Judge Judy”): “Leonard was a giant whose talent, grace, wisdom and strength of character are the template for a life well lived. He fought so hard to stay on this side of heaven. I will miss him and (his) good counsel.”
TV executive Barry Diller: “Though the word is so often misused, Leonard Goldberg was the mentor of mentors to me and so many others – he gave you confidence and support and the leeway to make mistakes and he had the sure sense of himself to let you shine. He gave me my first job and nurtured a wrangly kid into something of an executive, and … he was decent, kind, clever, and a first-class citizen.”
Producer Scott Rudin: “Leonard was the kind of executive and producer that simply does not exist any longer. He was a one-off. There won’t – there can’t – ever again be a career like his. He invented more things than it’s possible to count. And he was a brilliant, exciting, challenging, demanding, remarkably empowering and deeply inspiring boss.”
Former Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing: “Leonard was one of the finest people I have ever known. He was highly intelligent and had a great sense of humor. Above all, he was nice to everyone he met – and was admired and loved by them in return. His films and television series will live forever. … He was a great friend, and I will miss him every day for the rest of my life.”