THR is reporting that Willard Rodgers has died at the age of 69. Rodgers passed away at the Country Villa nursing home in Monrovia, near Los Angeles.
In addition to launching the AFI’s Alumni Association Writers Workshop in 1979, Rodgers was also reportedly a writer on CBS’ short-lived Palmerstown, USA series.
Though not well-remembered today, Palmerstown revolves around two young boys and their working class families — one African-American and one Caucasian — in the Southern US during the 1930s. The series was co-produced by Norman Lear (All in the Family) and Alex Haley (Roots) and co-starred a young Michael J. Fox. It lasted just 11 episodes in 1980 and 1981, was nominated for three Emmys and won one Emmy for art direction.
A memorial service for Rodgers is planned for Monday and burial services will be held on Tuesday at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA.
That was my Uncle Willard. Very talented man. We were never close..but I loved him. I wish things could’ve been different. Very misunderstood man. R.I.P Uncle W