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Sean David Gerard Whitesell, a writer and producer for television shows including HBO’s Oz and AMC’s The Killing, died Thursday in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer, a rep for WME confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 52.
Brother of WME co-CEO Patrick Whitesell, the writer and producer was born in Iowa Falls, Iowa, the fifth of six sons. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa and later got his MFA from UC San Diego.
As an actor, Whitesell appeared as a recurring character on Oz and Homicide: Life on the Street before stepping behind the camera to write and produce. In addition to Oz and The Killing, which earned him a nomination for an Edgar Award this year, his producer credits include Fox’s House, CBS’ Cold Case, TNT’s Perception and NBC’s The Black Donnellys.
Whitesell was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common malignant primary brain tumor, in June 2014. He began his last project, Eddie and the Aviator, after he was diagnosed and completed the short film this summer.
Survivors include his wife Maria Quiban, a weather anchor for Fox affiliate KTTV, and son Gus.