Veteran television producer Richard Lindheim has passed away at 81. He was the co-creator and brains behind the successful 1985 series “The Equalizer,” which birthed the movie adaptation that featured Denzel Washington.
Prolific television producer Richard Lindheim has died at 81. The tragic news was confirmed by his son-in-law Ezra Dweck who told The Hollywood Reporter that the veteran executive passed away from heart failure.
Lindheim was famous for being the brain behind the 1985 CBS sitcom, “The Equalizer,” which he co-created with Michael Sloan. The crime series told the story of a former intelligence officer who offers his services to people in distress.
The series' success led to a movie adaption of the same name, which featured the award-winning Denzel Washington and was produced by Sony. Lindheim served as an executive producer on the film and its 2018 sequel.
The action drama thriller was a global box office success with over $192 million in earnings on a $73 million budget. It was directed by Antoine Fuqua, who worked with Washington on “Training Day.”
After his stint at Paramount, Lindheim co-founded RL Leaders, a consultancy agency for technological solutions.
Before his demise, he worked on a television reboot of the original series, which would star Queen Latifah and premiere on February 7 after the Super Bowl. Dweck revealed that until the day Lindheim passed, he watched the dailies constantly.
He disclosed that the late producer was eager to see the show go into production. The producer’s impressive career spanned four decades, with him serving at top entertainment firms including CBS, Universal, Paramount, and NBC.
At NBC, he co-produced and wrote the comedy series “BJ and the Bear” from 1979 to 1981. He became EVP of the Paramount Television Group, where he played a significant role in the rise of nascent digital technology in the industry.
He established Paramount Digital Entertainment, using his degree in electronic engineering and his telecommunications and engineering degree at USC to bridge the gap between entertainment and technology.
After his stint at Paramount, Lindheim co-founded RL Leaders, a consultancy agency for technological solutions connected with virtual reality simulations. He is survived by his wife, son, daughter, and two grandchildren.
His family has required that grieved fans donate to Sierra Club or any charity instead of flowers. They have also planned to celebrate his life in a private ceremony due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.