The talented TV writer Gary David Goldberg, creator of Family Ties, passed away yesterday (23 June). He was 68. According to Variety, Goldberg died in Montecito, Calif., after losing his battle with cancer. The screenwriter created many TV gems, including The Bob Newhart Show, The Last Resort and Lou Grant, even winning an Emmy for the latter one. The first show that Goldberg worked on was Family Ties, which the writer launched on NBC in 1982.

Besides winning seven Emmy awards as well as critical praise, the series also helped launch the career of Michael J Fox. Goldberg won a writing Emmy for the series, which ran for seven seasons and went on to repeat that success for his writing on the Mary Tyler Moore Show spinoff, Lou Grant. However, while his biggest success, Family Ties, is currently remembered as a huge hit the series didn’t really take off with audiences until well into the third season. Additionally, Goldberg initially resisted the choice of Fox for the Family Ties cast, however, after the choice was proven to be beneficial for the show, Goldberg also went on to work with Fox on Spin City, this time for ABC.

During his entire career, he worked according to a very specific ethic. Asked in the archive interview what gave him the most pride about his career, Goldberg said, “I think it’s the fact that I’m still really close with almost everyone I’ve worked with, and a lot of the young writers I started have gone on to great careers. … It’s an idea that writers matter.”

Goldberg is survived by a number of family members, who also work in media. His wife, Meehan, is a producer, author, professor and advocate who taught in the UCLA and USC communications studies departments, produced documentaries through Ubu’s non-fiction wing, VU, and is co-founder of the Archer School for Girls. His two daughters are also involved in the business in various ways: Shana, a comedy-writer producer who ran “Friends” with her husband/partner, Scott Silvestri; and Cailin, a freelance writer and Huffington Post contributor.

Gary David Goldberg, Paley Center
Goldberg remained active and working until his final years.

Michael J Fox, Tribeca Film Festival
Michael J Fox was a frequent collaborator of Goldberg's,