Howard Berk, Screenwriter for Film and Television, Dies at 91

Gene Hackman and Matt Dillon in Target - H 2016

He worked on 'Columbo,' 'Mission: Impossible,' 'McMillan & Wife' and the Gene Hackman film 'Target.'

Howard Berk, who wrote the screenplay for the 1985 Gene Hackman film Target and penned episodes for Columbo, Mission: Impossible and McMillan & Wife, died Sunday of natural causes in Los Angeles, his son said. He was 91.

Berk also wrote for Matinee Theatre, The Rockford Files, Get Christie Love!, Mrs. Columbo, The Fall Guy and The New Mike Hammer.

A longtime Distinguished Writer in Residence and professor at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., where he studied journalism as a youngster, Berk most recently published a National Geographic essay, "My Lunch With Hemingway," which recounted a meeting he had with Ernest Hemingway in 1950s Cuba.

At the time, Berk was a reporter for the newspaper The Havana Herald. He also worked for papers in the U.S. and for the Associated Press and wrote four fiction novels.

Survivors include his son Peter, brother Robert, grandchildren Jordan and Daniel and daughter-in-law Diane.