Joel Rogosin, Producer on 'The Virginian,' Ironside' and 'Magnum, P.I.,' Dies of COVID-19 Complications at 87

Joel Rogosin - Publicity_H 2020
Courtesy of Melissa Rogosin Honig

He is the fifth resident of the Motion Picture & Television Fund's Country House and Hospital to succumb to the virus.

Joel Rogosin, an Emmy-nominated writer and producer on such shows as The VirginianIronsideMagnum, P.I. and Knight Rider, has died. He was 87.

Rogosin died Tuesday at the Motion Picture & Television Fund's Country House and Hospital. He is the fifth resident to die of complications from the coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the MPTF said.

Rogosin started out in Hollywood in 1957 as a messenger at Columbia Pictures, and by 1961 he was producing ABC's 77 Sunset Strip, then the No. 1 show on television. He also worked on other series in the Warner Bros. Television stable, including Hawaiian Eye and Surfside 6

He went on to produce and/or write for The Blue KnightThe Bold Ones: The New DoctorsThe New Lassie and a pair of Jerry Lewis telethons.

Rogosin received his first two Emmy nominations in 1970 and '71 for producing Ironside and his third in 1983 for producing Magnum, P.I.

"Joel's era demanded a man knew how to work with every person in the process, and by doing so, became partner in the endeavor with them rather than simply their boss," his friend and TV producer Peter Dunne said in a statement. "One of the great benefits of hiring Joel … his crews loved him, would follow him and bust their asses to get it done right for him. Bottom line: Joel was more than a writer and producer. He was a mentor, a big brother and the ultimate filmmaker."

At the MPTF campus, Rogosin was a pioneer member of the Grey Quill Society, a group of residents who meet every week in a workshop setting to share memories, poetry, fiction and drama. He also pushed for a "dignified" name change for the home of the facility's most frail and vulnerable; it's now called The Mary Pickford House.

Survivors include Deborah, his wife of 67 years, and their three daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Among those who have died at the MPTF home from the virus are actor Allen Garfield and former Disney animator Ann Sullivan.