Leonard Goldberg, a network and studio executive and producer whose TV credits ranged from “Starsky and Hutch” in the 1970s to the current drama series “Blue Bloods” and whose independent movies included “WarGames” and “Sleeping with the Enemy,” has died at age 85.
Goldberg died Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from injuries suffered in a fall, according to a statement issued by family, who were with him at the hospital.
During his tenure as president of Twentieth Century Fox, the studio produced hit films including “Broadcast News,” “Big,” “Die Hard” and “Wall Street.”
Goldberg was head of programming for ABC when the network’s lineup included “Mod Squad,” “That Girl” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.”
Starting in the 1970s, he joined with prolific TV producer Aaron Spelling to make shows including “Charlie’s Angels,” “Hart to Hart” and “Fantasy Island” and TV movies including “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble” with John Travolta.
Some of the future stars he helped launch included Richard Gere, Matthew Broderick, Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Darryl Hannah. And, on the executive side, both Barry Diller and Michael Eisner were given their starts by Leonard Goldberg at ABC.
Jaclyn Smith, who starred in the “Charlie’s Angels” series said in a statement that their shared work history led to “a truly wonderful friendship. I have the greatest respect for him not only professionally but more importantly as a loving family man. Len, you are now truly surrounded by angels.”
Samuel L. Jackson said, “Leonard Goldberg had that unique quality of making anyone feel comfortable & special in his presence.”
As a production executive at Screen Gems, now Columbia Pictures Television, Goldberg cleared the way for production of the Peabody Award-winning TV movie “Brian’s Song.”
Goldberg’s survivors include his wife, Wendy Howard Goldberg, three children and five grandchildren.