PASSINGS: Martin Cohan, David Durston

Martin Cohan

TV writer, producer co-created ‘Who’s the Boss?’

Martin Cohan, 77, who co-created the ABC sitcom “Who’s the Boss?” and was a prolific TV writer and producer, died Wednesday at his home in Pacific Palisades after a two-year battle with large-cell lymphoma, his family announced.


Cohan and his business partner, Blake Hunter, created the sitcom starring Tony Danza and Judith Light, which ran from 1984 to 1992.

The two men also served as creative consultants for a British version of the TV show called “The Upper Hand,” which debuted in 1990 and ran for seven seasons.

Besides his work as executive producer and writer for “Boss,” Cohan wrote hundreds of scripts for such popular TV series as “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” " Mary Tyler Moore” and “Silver Spoons.”

Born July 4, 1932, in San Francisco, Cohan graduated from Stanford University in 1955 after studying theater arts. He found work as a stage manager and assistant director at ABC Television, his family said.

He got his break on “Mary Tyler Moore” as an assistant director in 1971 and won a Writers Guild of America award in 1972 for best comedy episode. He went on to write, direct and produce for “The Bob Newhart Show.”

David Durston, a writer and director of the 1970s cult horror films “I Drink Your Blood” and “Stigma” (which starred “Miami Vice” actor Philip Michael Thomas in one of his first roles), died May 6 at his Los Angeles home from complications of pneumonia, said his friend and colleague Dave Szulkin. He was 88.

— Times staff and wire reports