'The Avengers' and 'The Professionals' Writer Brian Clemens Dies at 83

Brian Clemens

The prolific U.K. scriptwriter also wrote for 'Diagnosis: Murder' and NBC's 'Father Dowling Mysteries'

Brian Clemens, the British scriptwriter and producer responsible for the popular TV shows The Avengers, The New Avengers and The Professionals has died. He was 83.

Described by the BBC, who confirmed the news, as a "screenwriting legend," Clemens died on Saturday. "He was a true inspiration. The world has lost a really great man who has given so much," the writer's son, George Clemens, told the news channel.

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Others leading the tributes included Doctor Who and Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, who tweeted: "Brian Clemens had more great ideas than almost any other TV writer. His mantra was wonderfully simple — 'Arse to chair, pen to paper.' RIP."

The British Film Institute also tweeted their tribute, writing: "Very sorry to hear about the passing of Avengers writer Brian Clemens — a prolific talent & good friend to the BFI."

Although known mostly for his creating the '60s and '70s favorites The Avengers, New Avengers and The Professionals, Clemens also worked on U.K. TV shows, including Bergerac, The Baron, The Persuaders!, The Adventure, Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense and Bugs. Lured to the U.S. on more than one occasional, he wrote for the series Darkroom and Remington Steele, and later on NBCs Father Dowling Mysteries, Dick Van Dyke's CBS show Diagnosis: Murder and Highlander: The Series.

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Outside of television, Clemens (who was related to Mark Twain) wrote and directed 1972 Hammer horror film Captain Kronos — Vampire Hunter, which went on to become a cult classic. He also helped script the likes of Operation Murder (1957), Station Six-Sahara (1963), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) and Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) over a career spanning more than 50 years.

In 2010, Clemens was awarded the Order of the British Empire honor by Queen Elizabeth for services to broadcasting and drama. At the time, he said: "I am pleased from the point of view of all screenwriters. It is an encouragement to the backroom boys. I count myself as one."