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Hollywood is mourning the death of Steven Bochco, the strong-willed writer and producer who brought gritty realism and sprawling ensemble casts to the small screen with such iconic series as Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and NYPD Blue.
Bochco died Sunday morning at age 74 after a long battle with leukemia. “Steven fought cancer with strength, courage, grace and his unsurpassed sense of humor,” spokesman Phillip Arnold said. “He died peacefully in his sleep with his family close by.”
Bochco, a 10-time Primetime Emmy Award winner, also was behind the Neil Patrick Harris ABC comedy-drama Doogie Howser, M.D. and the TNT drama Murder in the First.
David E Kelley, who co-created Doogie Howser, M.D. with Bochco, paid tribute on Monday morning: “A devastating loss. For television. For those who loved him and were loved by him. My beacon, my friend. The ground feels different now.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger, who was ABC Network president when NYPD Blue launched, was among those who paid tribute on Twitter:
Steven Bochco: Today, our industry lost a visionary, a creative force, a risk taker, a witty, urbane story teller with an uncanny ability to know what the world wanted. We were long-term colleagues, and longer term friends., and I am deeply saddened.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) April 2, 2018
Read below to see what others in the industry are saying about the prolific showrunner.
I’m terribly saddened by the news that Steven Bochco passed away yesterday. He was a true game changer in television. His work ethic shaped mine, his words of wisdom stick with me to this day. I’m so proud of Doogie Howser, mostly for being a Bochco show. #quality #mentor #RIP
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) April 2, 2018
It was his vision, style, taste and tenacity that made me love watching TV. It was being on #NYPDBlue that made me love working on TV. Thank you and rest well Steven Bochco. You were one of a kind. https://t.co/jTqhyAuO0k
— Sharon Lawrence (@sharonlawrence) April 2, 2018
So sad to hear of Steven Bochco’s passing. He was a pioneer, a gentleman, and gave me my first job in prime time tv. Rest well, sir. You will be missed. #RIP
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) April 2, 2018
Steven Bochco sat with Jake Kasdan and myself before we started Freaks and Geeks and let us grill him for advice. We used all of it. He was a great man and will forever be an inspiration. https://t.co/IWT2Zfr3Nf
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) April 2, 2018
As a kid, “Hill Street Blues” and “L.A. Law” were rituals in my house. All of us who grew up watching great TV and have benefited from the ground he broke owe pioneer Steven Bochco a debt of gratitude. RIP
— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) April 2, 2018
Just heard Legendary tv producer Steven Bochco passed away. His groundbreaking storytelling was a big influence on me pursuing a career as a professional actor. Was blessed to get to direct one of his shows and tell him in person. RIP Mr. Television
— Eriq La Salle (@EriqLaSalle23) April 2, 2018
— Mark A. Altman (@markaaltman) April 2, 2018
Steven Bochco Dies at 74 https://t.co/4L1lFXhIJF via @thr This man meant the world to me. Mentor is not a strong enough word. Nor is friend. He taught me so much about the business, and life, and always had my back. I’m so sad.
— Reginald Hudlin (@reghud) April 2, 2018
VERY SAD to hear that Steven Bochco passed away on Sunday. Steven hired me on LA LAW and changed the trajectory of my life and career. There are opportunities available to me today because he took a chance on a kid like me, long ago. I’ll forever be grateful to him. RIP Steven. pic.twitter.com/8jMvxoenAq
— Blair Underwood (@BlairUnderwood) April 2, 2018
Sad to hear of the passing of Steve Bochco. Met him on the set of Columbo when I was a kid. Bochco had written the episode my father was guesting on and a young man named Spielberg was directing. Bochco was an exceptional writer who changed the game. Condolences to his family.
— Shaun Cassidy (@shaunpcassidy) April 2, 2018
Those of us who write television note seismic shifts in its history associated with individuals of unequaled talent and vision. NYPD Blue ushered in what was to be a modern golden age of television drama. Thank you, Steven Bochco.
— Bill Prady (@billprady) April 2, 2018
My heart breaks tonight hearing of Steven Bochco’s passing. He was an exceptional human being. A great friend, father and partner. We will all miss him terribly. RIP dear one
— Goldie Hawn (@goldiehawn) April 2, 2018
Absolutely one of the biggest influences on Buffy (and me) was HILL STREET BLUES. Complex,unpredictable and unfailingly humane. Steven Bochco changed television, more than once. He’s a legend. All love to his family, R.I.P., and thank you.#LetsBeSafeOutThere
— Joss Whedon (@joss) April 2, 2018
Every episode of Hill Street Blues pushed what was possible on TV. It was a perfect show that broke my heart countless times. I am forever in Steven Bochco’s debt.
— Glen Mazzara (@glenmazzara) April 2, 2018
I am shocked and broken at the passing of my Friend and Mentor, Steven Bochco. No one was more aware of the blessings surrounding him and who never forgot where he came from. His ability to understand and write for each and every actor that he interacted with was unrivaled.
— Peter Onorati (@PeterOnorati) April 2, 2018
So sad to hear Steven Bochco passed. Gave me my first real job on TV on NYPD Blue. RIP.
— dean norris (@deanjnorris) April 2, 2018
Few people change their industry by their mere involvement. Such was the genius of Bochco. RIP. https://t.co/ddYuqADXYY
— Larry Wilmore (@larrywilmore) April 2, 2018
RIP #StevenBochco, 74, creator of #HillStreetBlues, #LALaw #NYPDBlue #DoogieHowserMD #RichieBrockelman & more. Wrote film #SilentRunning & TV’s #Columbo #TheWhiteShadow #McMillanAndWife and others. Instrumental in bringing realism & character depth to #TV drama. pic.twitter.com/Gw0ohoHLNY
— Paul J. Coyne, A.C.E (@Paul_J_Coyne) April 2, 2018
— Michael Beach (@MikeABeach) April 2, 2018
Televison really lost a legend today… RIP Steven Bochco. https://t.co/p1PjTRpwei
— Jim Michaels (@TheJimMichaels) April 2, 2018
Oh no. Some of the best shows on TV ever. RIP Steven Bochco. https://t.co/ZsASw2SEKy
— Alan Hunter (@AlanHunterMTV) April 2, 2018
Steven Bochco. My heart is breaking. His legacy will live on forever.
— Julie Martin (@JulieMartinSVU) April 2, 2018
I remember going to Steven Bochco’s house with my parents when I was a kid. He was always so nice to me and continued to be nothing but gracious to me whenever I would see him as I got older. He was great friends with my dad and put him on Hill Street Blues and…(con’t)
— David Pressman (@DavidPressman) April 2, 2018
…4 years on Doogie Howser. Just the other day, watching Ready Player One I thought how cool it was that they referenced the movie he wrote, Silent Running (great movie you should see it). He was a great talent and so sorry to hear about his passing. RIP
— David Pressman (@DavidPressman) April 2, 2018
I grew up on sitcoms and variety shows. The first TV drama I remember watching was Hill Street Blues. I loved it so much and only later realized it set the standard. Thank you, Steven Bochco.
— Nell Scovell (@NellSco) April 2, 2018
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