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Producer Stephen J. Cannell dead at 69

Writer, producer Stephen J. Cannell arrives for the 13th annual 2006 WIN Awards Gala held at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA in the Westwood area of Los Angeles on November 1, 2006 . (UPI Photo/ Phil McCarten)
Writer, producer Stephen J. Cannell arrives for the 13th annual 2006 WIN Awards Gala held at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA in the Westwood area of Los Angeles on November 1, 2006 . (UPI Photo/ Phil McCarten) | License Photo

PASADENA, Calif., Oct. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. television producer and author Stephen J. Cannell has died of complications of melanoma at his home in Pasadena, Calif., his family said Friday.

He was 69.

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The Emmy Award winner's small-screen credits include "The Rockford Files," "21 Jump Street," "Adam-12," "Mission: Impossible," "It Takes a Thief," "Riptide," "Hardcastle and McCormick," "The A-Team" and "The Greatest American Hero." He also has played himself on the current crime drama series "Castle" and written a string of popular novels.

"Aside from being a legendary television producer and prolific writer, Stephen was also a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, and a loyal friend," his family said in a statement issued to the Los Angeles Times. "Mr. Cannell is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 46 years, Marcia; their three children, Tawnia, Chelsea and Cody; and three grandchildren. Stephen was a pillar of strength within his family and he touched everyone he met. He will be most deeply missed."

The family said donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the International Dyslexia Association in lieu of flowers.

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