Edward DeBlasio, Writer and Producer for TV’s 'Dynasty,' Dies at 88
The onetime journalist also worked on such shows as 'Marcus Welby, M.D.,' 'Police Woman' and 'In the Heat of the Night.'
Edward DeBlasio, a prolific writer-producer who had a hand in nearly half the episodes of the steamy ABC primetime soap opera Dynasty, died Feb. 1 in Studio City after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, Irene, said. He was 88.
DeBlasio, an entertainment journalist before he turned to show business, also wrote and produced for the NBC dramas In the Heat of the Night, starring Carroll O’Connor, and Police Woman, toplined by Angie Dickinson.
DeBlasio produced 109 episodes of Dynasty and “single-handedly” wrote 94 installments, his wife said. The hit series, executive produced by Aaron Spelling and created by Richard and Esther Shapiro, starred John Forsythe, Linda Evans and Joan Collins and aired from 1981 to 1989.
He co-wrote a 1991 Dynasty reunion telefilm and then the 1994 TV movie Janek: The Silent Betrayal, starring Richard Crenna, before retiring.
Born in Brooklyn, DeBlasio graduated from the High School of Music and Art in New York at age 16, served in the U.S. Navy and received his master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism. His first job was as a copy boy for the Hartford Courant.
DeBlasio saved his money and traveled to Italy in search of an interview with mobster Lucky Luciano. That never panned out, but he wrote a few articles for Inside Detective magazine and eventually became its editor.
DeBlasio later worked for Modern Screen and Photoplay magazines and interviewed such celebrities as Joan Crawford, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lewis, Sophia Loren, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and Rock Hudson.
His first teleplay for East Side/West Side became the premiere episode of the 1963-64 CBS drama, which starred George C. Scott as a social worker. He then wrote for The Defenders, N.Y.P.D., Marcus Welby, M.D., Mission: Impossible, Bonanza, Medical Center, Ironside and scores of other shows, including the British series Strange Report, starring Anthony Quayle.
He wrote a paperback book, All About the Beatles, published in 1964, and did the screenplay for the 1974 ABC hourlong The Man from Independence (1974), starring Robert Vaughn as Harry S. Truman.
After freelancing for several years, DeBlasio became executive script consultant for Police Woman, which bowed in 1974. He was a Dynasty mainstay on the first eight of the series' nine seasons, serving as executive script consultant for the first few years. He later worked on the Dynasty spinoff series, The Colbys.
In addition to Irene, his wife of 57 years, DeBlasio is survived by daughter Gioia, brother Peter, grandchildren Chloe and Collin and nieces Caralee and Alessandra. A memorial service will be held in June in New York.