Rich, co-founder and former president of Lorimar Productions, died of lung cancer Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.
"Lee Rich was a giant in the television industry who produced some of the most iconic series in the history of the medium and influenced audiences worldwide," CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said in a statement.
Rich began his entertainment career as an advertising executive at New York City's Benton & Bowles, but later moved into television and film production, the Times reported. He was responsible for several powerhouse television shows throughout the 1970s and 80s, including Emmy-winning "The Waltons," "Eight is Enough" and "Flamingo Road."
Rich joined MGM/UA Communications in 1986 and as chairman and chief executive, greenlighted films like "A Fish Called Wanda," "Moonstruck" and "Rain Man," the newspaper reported.