Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Top US sitcom writer dies aged 75

The cast of Frasier
Lloyd wrote numerous episodes of Frasier and was its creative consultant

David Lloyd, the Emmy-winning writer whose credits include Taxi, Cheers and Frasier, has died of prostate cancer at the age of 75, his son has announced.

His prolific four-decade career also included stints on Rhoda, Lou Grant and Johnny Carson's Tonight Show.

In the US he was best known for writing the Chuckles Bites the Dust episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

The episode - once voted the greatest in TV history - involved a children's host being crushed by an elephant.

The 1975 show won Lloyd an individual Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series, a prize for which he was nominated seven times.

He won a second Emmy in 1977 as one of the writers for the final episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and a third in 1998 when Frasier was named best comedy series.


In 2001 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Writers Guild of America.

In Chuckles Bites the Dust, children's entertainer Chuckles the Clown is crushed while dressed as a peanut leading a circus parade.

After admonishing her colleagues for making light of his demise, Moore's character Mary is later seen in fits of laughter during his funeral eulogy.

Les Charles, co-creator of Cheers, described Lloyd - father of writer-producer Christopher - as "the preeminent writer of television comedy".

"He's got to have been responsible for a record number of laughs in this world," he told the Los Angeles Times.

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