The photo above was 1982 at the surprise 40th Birthday party that my wife Susie had arranged.
Steve Bochco and I met in 1963 when he was a Freshman and I was a Junior in the renown
Department of Drama at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie-Mellon University). We were great pals
from the get-go, with an identical sense of irony and humor. I was a directing major and Steve
was a writer.
While at Tech we also made a
send-up movie of the prologue to
West Side Story..Steve played
In the Carnegie Mainstage Green
Room, about to present the annual
Dramat Christmas Show, 1963.
We stayed in close touch after I graduated and started producing and directing TV in New York.
When Steve left Tech he headed for L.A. and began working as a writer for Sam Goldwyn, Jr.
while I moved on to be Producer & Director, then Executive Producer, of The Mike Douglas
In 1969 and itching to finally make movies as I'd always intended, I came West to discover the
industry assumed I was only a "live TV producer/director." Not a filmmaker. I essentially had to
start over -- and was living in Steve's guest room. By then he'd become a staff writer at
Universal TV and urged me to write as a way to get my foot in the door. I'd always been entirely
focused on directing & producing and I was certain that I didn't have the writing skills or talent
Steve wouldn't hear of it. He was relentless and dragged me kicking and screaming into
beginning to writing. After a year or so I'd made some progress and Steve managed to get me a
couple writing assignments at Universal. He also introduced me to Steve Cannell, who was
about my age and a story editor on the cop show Adam 12. He and I became fast friends and
remained so throughout his life. Steve C got me a couple Adam 12 writing assignments and
also my first Universal directing gig. (Shortly thereafter Steve Cannell created The Rockford
Files and was off and running.)
Meanwhile, I wrote many spec screenplays, none of which sold, but Steve Bochco gave one
to Exec Producer Harve Bennett. Harve had done several successful mini-series and TV movies
and was also currently doing The Six Million Dollar Man, which was in it's first full season and
desperately in need of scripts. Harve liked my writing and asked me to pitch him some ideas for
SMDM. I suggested a love story that would create a mate for his leading man -- and The Bionic
Woman was born. Harve invited me to become a Producer-Writer for SMDM and my film career
at Universal was suddenly under way.
Soon after The Bionic Woman spun-off as a separate series. For a time the two shows were the
Number 1 & 3 shows in America. And led to me creating The Incredible Hulk and all my later
work that has luckily followed.
And the cornerstone of all my success in the TV and movie industry is Steve Bochco.
Without Steve's unswerving early support, his confidence in my abilities, his reassurance,
nurturing and championing of me -- and introducing me to Steve Cannell, Harve Bennett and
others -- I might never have had the opportunities to prove myself.
I love you, pal...I'll cherish our friendship, endless laughs and love forever...