Sam Denoff, the Emmy-winning writer who wrote for shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, has died at the age of 83 in Los Angeles. He passed away on Friday from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 83.
With his writing partner Bill Persky, Denoff wrote for Steve Allen, Andy Williams, and McHale’s Navy before being hired for The Dick Van Dyke Show. They worked on more than 70 episodes, including such classics as the one in which Rob thinks they brought home the wrong baby, when Laura accidentally tells the world that Alan Brady is bald, the Western dream episode, and the series finale.
Series creator Carl Reiner told the LA Times, “When they came upon the scene, they saved my life… These two guys made my life possible after that.”
Denoff and Persky went on to create several other shows like That Girl, Harry and the Hendersons, and Good Morning, World. They also wrote numerous specials, including Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman (which reunited Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore).
Denoff also co-wrote 1991’s Happy Days Reunion Special which co-starred Happy Days creator Garry Marshall, Denoff’s former co-worker from Dick Van Dyke.
You can watch the baby episode below. If you haven’t seen it, the payoff is certainly worth waiting for:
What do you think? What are your favorites of Denoff’s work?