WGA honors 'Frasier' creator, 9-11 victim

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  Feb. 25, 2002 at 4:22 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The Writers Guild of America, west has announced that David Angell -- the co-creator of "Frasier" and "Wings" who was killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack -- will be awarded one of the guild's highest honors, the Valentine Davies Award, posthumously.

Angell and his wife Lynn were passengers on American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles, which was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center.

The WGAw presents the Valentine Davies Award to writers "who have contributed to the entertainment industry as well as the community at large, and who have brought dignity and honor to the profession of writing everywhere."

Angell joins a list of previous winners that includes Fay and Michael Kanin, Garry Marshall, Hal Kanter, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Phil Alden Robinson, Norman Lear, Ray Bradbury, Barry Kemp, Alan Alda and last year's recipient, Paul Haggis.

"In life, David Angell was a real gentleman, bringing a kindness and warmth to his scripts, his shows and his staff," said WGAw president Victoria Riskin. "In death, he has become an inspiration to many who never knew him personally."

Born in 1947 in West Barrington, R.I., Angell earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from Providence College. Before breaking into TV writing in 1977, he served in the U.S. Army and worked for a time as a methods analyst for an engineering company in Boston.

After selling a script to the CBS comedy "Archie Bunker's Place" in 1982, Angell began writing for the NBC comedy "Cheers." He became a producer in the show in its fourth season.

When "Cheers" wrapped up its 11-year-run, Angell collaborated with fellow writer-producers Peter Casey and David Lee to create the spin-off "Frasier," with "Cheers" regular Dr. Frasier Crane at the center of the new show.

As a writer and producer, Angell was nominated for 13 Emmy Awards and won eight Emmys for "Cheers" and "Frasier."

He and his wife were active contributors to Hillsides in Pasadena, a nonprofit center providing a secure place for victims of child abuse.

Writer-director Valentine Davies won the Oscar for best original story in 1947 for the Christmas classic "Miracle on 34th Street." He was nominated for Academy Awards for co-writing "It Happens Every Spring" (1950) with Shirley Smith, co-writing "The Glenn Miller Story" (1955) with Oscar Brodney and for producing the documentary short subject "The House Without a Name" (1957).

He wrote and directed "The Benny Goodman Story" (1955), starring Steve Allen and Donna Reed. He also wrote "Strategic Air Command" (1955) and "The Bridges at Toko-Ri" (1954).

The 54th Annual Writers Guild Awards will be presented on March 2 in twin ceremonies in Beverly Hills, Calif., and New York.

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