Allan Cole, Television Writer and Best-Selling Author, Dies at 75

Courtesy of Kathryn Bunch
Allan Cole

He wrote for shows including 'Magnum, P.I.,' 'The A-Team' and 'Hunter' and co-authored the 'Sten' series of sci-fi books with Chris Bunch.

Allan Cole, who wrote for such shows as Magnum, P.I., The A-Team and Hunter and co-authored the Sten series of sci-fi books, died Friday of cancer in Boca Raton, Florida, the WGA West announced. He was 75.

He and his late partner, Chris Bunch, sold more than 150 television and film scripts, earning credits on those and other shows like Quincy, M.E.; The Incredible Hulk; and Walker, Texas Ranger. They also served as story editors on Galactica 1980Code RedGavilan and Werewolf.

The pair were probably best known for their Sten science-fiction book series as well as a critically acclaimed 1987 Vietnam novel, A Reckoning for Kings, about the 1968 Tet Offensive.

The son of a CIA operative, the Philadelphia-born Cole worked as a newsman for 14 years at several Los Angeles-area newspapers, including the Inglewood Daily News, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the Santa Monica Outlook, where he served as city editor and national news editor.

He and Bunch penned an eight-volume science fiction series beginning with Sten in 1982. It was a worldwide hit, especially in Russia, where it sold more than 10 million copies. Later, Cole co-authored a fantasy novel, The Hate Parallax, with Russian fantasy author Nick Perumov.

He also wrote several historical and fantasy novels with Bunch, including The Far Kingdoms and The Shannon Trilogy.

His recent books included Lucky in Cyprus, about his life as a CIA brat during the height of the Cold War; My Hollywood MisAdventures, a comical look at his years as a screenwriter with Bunch; Tales of the Blue Meanie, set in Venice, California, during the '60s; and SOS, a novel about the U-boat attacks in Florida during World War II.

Survivors include his wife, Kathryn (Bunch’s sister); his children Jason, Susan Beck and Alissia; his brothers David and Drew; and eight grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Cole's name to the Writers Guild Foundation.