John Fasano, Writer on 'Another 48 Hrs.,' Dies at 52

Courtesy of the Fasano family

He also penned Jean-Claude Van Damme's "Universal Soldier: The Return" and the first "Jesse Stone" telefilm starring Tom Selleck.

John Fasano, a writer, director and producer who co-wrote the screenplay for the Eddie Murphy-Nick Nolte film Another 48 Hrs., died Saturday in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles, the APA Talent and Literary Agency said. He was 52.

His family did not reveal a cause of death.

Fasano co-wrote Universal Soldier: The Return (1999), starring Jean-Claude Van Damme; Darkness Falls (2003), a horror thriller and box-office hit from Columbia Pictures; and 2005’s Jesse Stone: Stone Cold, the first in the series of CBS telefilms that star Tom Selleck as a small-town police chief.

Fasano received a WGA nomination for adapting the 1997 TNT telefilm The Hunchback, which featured Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, and created and wrote 20 episodes of Woke Up Dead, a 2009 horror comedy series for Sony’s digital Crackle channel that starred Jon Heder and Josh Gad. He also wrote the true-life 2003 NBC telefilm Saving Jessica Lynch.

Fasano directed the horror films Rock ’n’ Roll Nightmare (1987), Black Roses (1988) and The Jitters (1989) as well as the telefilms Murder at the Presidio, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, The Legend of Butch & Sundance, A Family Lost and Hannah’s Law.

Fasano was born on Aug. 24, 1961, and at age 8 caught the entertainment bug when he was asked to take coffee to Ben Gazzara on the set of John CassavetesHusbands (1970), which was shooting in his hometown of Port Washington, N.Y.

He graduated from State University of New York at Purchase, worked as a magazine editor and art director and created the artwork for the grindhouse film Tenement (1985).

Soon after Fasano moved to L.A., he sold a script to Morgan Creek and landed the gig on director Walter Hill’s Another 48 Hrs. He later earned an associate producer credit on Tombstone (1993), starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer.

Fasano worked as a script doctor and screenwriting guest lecturer at AFI and the Writers Boot Camp and was president of the screenwriting seminar at the Sony/Canal Plus Equinoxe screenwriting seminar in France.

The U.S. Army presented him with the Commander’s Award for Public Service — the fourth-highest public service honorary award that can be granted to a private citizen — for directing and writing the documentary Army Strong — Technology of the 21st Century, which was presented in May 2008 at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.

Survivors include his wife Edie, his children Lucia and John Cody and his sister, casting director Felicia Fasano.

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