Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Creator of 'Starsky & Hutch' and 'Eight Is Enough,' William Blinn Dies at 83

Odette Odendaal
Oct 28, 2020
05:25 A.M.
Share this pen

Television writer and two-time Emmy winner William Blinn sadly passed away aged 83, but not before making a notable contribution to the entertainment industry spanning five glorious decades.


William Blinn brought viewers several hit television shows from the 60s onwards, including Prince's "Purple Rain," he proudly took credit in writing. But sadly, his story came to an end.

The award-winning writer's daughter, Anneliese Johnson, confirmed to THR that Blinn passed of natural causes on Thursday in Burbank at an assisted living community. 

William Blinn attends the 2009 Writers Guild Awards on February 7, 2009, in Century City, California. | Source: Getty Images.



Blinn, who initially worked for his dad in the building industry, started earning television credits during the early 1960s, working as a staff writer on hit shows such as "Bonanza," "Rawhide," and "My Favorite Martian."

But his true talent shined when he specialized in drama series and started creating and producing his own shows, which impressively include "Pensacola: Wings of Gold," "The Rookies," " Starsky & Hutch," and "The Interns."


As the developer of "Eight Is Enough," another memorable moment in his career came in 1984, when he worked as co-writer on "Purple Rain" with Prince. 


The 83-year-old earned an Emmy Award and a Humanitas Prize for his work as head writer on the ABC miniseries "Roots," which ended in January 1977 that drew a staggering amount of viewers.


According to reports, "Roots" found an audience with at least 85% of the US population during its run, at least in part. This is reflected in the show's final episode, which drew more than 100 million viewers.


Blinn's father worked in the construction business in Toledo, Ohio, where he ran and owned a small cement manufacturing company. The work's nature meant doing a lot of heavy lifting, which made Blinn feel all macho and manly, but then things changed.


Moving up in the company meant moving into an office, and Blinn would have none of that, so he left and decided to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, enrolling at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. 

Earlier this month, the industry sadly lost another talented producer and writer. Responsible for shows such as "Private Practice," and "Dawson's Creek," Dana Baratta made an impact on drama television shows during her career.

However, following a long battle with ovarian cancer, Baratta passed at her Los Angeles home earlier this month at the age of 59. She earned her first writing and producing credit with the flick "Andre" back in 1994.