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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 June 2006, 08:09 GMT 09:09 UK
Obituary: Aaron Spelling
Aaron and Tori Spelling
Spelling put his daughter Tori in his show Beverly Hills 90210
Aaron Spelling, who has died at his home in Los Angeles, was a giant figure in American TV and launched the careers of many of the 1980s biggest stars.

At the height of his success as a producer in the mid 1980s he had seven prime time programmes on the ABC network, making up a third of the broadcaster's output in that most lucrative and popular of timeslots.

To some in the industry ABC was Aaron's Broadcasting Company, said trade newspaper Hollywood Reporter.

His most successful programmes included all-female detective show Charlie's Angels, which propelled Farrah Fawcett-Majors to stardom, Starsky and Hutch and Hart to Hart.

"I can't say this of every show I ever produced, but I loved Charlie's Angels," Spelling told People magazine in 1988.

"It put us over the top and made our company financially secure and incredibly desirable."

Charlie's Angeles was shown in more than 90 countries worldwide but his biggest hit was still to come.

In the 1980s he executive produced Dynasty, which together with Dallas, helped push soap operas into prime time schedules for the first time.

Dynasty, starring Joan Collins, Linda Evans and John Forsythe, became the most widely watched series in TV history.

In the 1990s he was able to tap into a teenage demographic that became increasingly important to advertisers with shows such as Beverly Hills 90210, which starred his daughter Tori, and soap Melrose Place.

Aaron Spelling
Spelling was an award-winning producer

He also produced more than 140 TV movies, including 1974's Death Sentence, starring Nick Nolte, and 1976's The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, starring John Travolta.

Spelling was one of five children born to Jewish immigrants in Dallas in 1923.

In World War II, he served in the Air Force as a war correspondent for Stars and Stripes and was wounded by a sniper's bullet, receiving a Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart.

His early career in the arts and media mixed directing plays in Dallas and appearing in small parts in TV series Dragnet and I Love Lucy.

He earned his producing credentials on such series as Zane Grey and Johnny Ringo and went on to produce The Dick Powell Show, Burke's Law and The Lloyd Bridges Show.

He co-produced The Mod Squad, which earned six Emmy nominations, including one for outstanding dramatic series of the 1969-70 season.

The Manor
The producer died at his famous home in Los Angeles

In 1971, Spelling formed a prolific partnership with Leonard Goldberg and they produced a string of glossy 1980s series including Fantasy Island.

Spelling was honoured by the Producers Guild of America in 2000 with its Golden Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement in Television.

During the course of his career, he was recognised with six NAACP Image Awards. He was named Man of the Year by the Publicists Guild of America in 1971.

Spelling's first wife was the actress Carolyn Jones, best known as Morticia on The Addams Family, whom he married in 1953 and divorced in 1965.

In 1965, he married his present wife, Candy, with whom he had two children, Tori and his son Randy.




SEE ALSO
US TV legend Aaron Spelling dies
24 Jun 06 |  Entertainment

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