Stanley Kallis, Emmy-Winning Producer on Gritty NBC Series 'Police Story,' Dies at 88

Courtesy of Nicole Kallis
Stanley Kallis

He helped develop the original 'Hawaii 5-0' and also produced for 'Mission: Impossible.'

Stanley Kallis, an Emmy-winning producer who worked on the classic television dramas Hawaii 5-0, Mission: Impossible and Police Story, has died. He was 88.

Kallis died Jan. 28 at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif., his family announced.

Kallis culminated three straight years of Emmy nominations for outstanding drama series by winning in 1976 for his work on NBC's Police Story, the gritty anthology drama created by real-life LAPD cop Joseph Wambaugh.

He also received noms for producing the 1977 ABC miniseries Washington: Behind Closed Doors, based on a book by John Ehrlichman, and the 1980 telefilm Amber Waves, starring Dennis Weaver, Kurt Russell and Mare Winningham.

Kallis worked with Hawaii 5-0 creator Leonard Freeman to develop the original incarnation of the CBS show, which debuted in 1968, and the pair plotted out two years of episodes, his family said.

Kallis joined Mission: Impossible in its third season and went on to produce 32 episodes of that CBS show, then returned to Hawaii 5-0 as an executive producer in 1970.

He produced and/or executive produced 63 episodes of Police Story, which ran for five seasons, from 1973-79. For storylines, in-depth interviews with police were recorded and writers then accompanied the cops in the field. "We found that human drama took priority over solving cases," Kallis said in a 1974 interview. "We also learned the human reason why police act as they do." 

In the 1980s, Kallis produced the miniseries The Manions of America, which helped introduce Pierce Brosnan to American audiences; the George Burns telefilm Two of a Kind; and episodes of In the Heat of the Night and Columbo.

Kallis also wrote the 1984 HBO movie The Glitter Dome, which starred James Garner and John Lithgow as cops and was based on a Wambaugh novel.

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Kallis spent his early years being raised in New York City and on Long Island. When he was was 14, his father was hired as an art director at Paramount Studios and moved the family by train to Hollywood.

At UCLA, Kallis received his bachelor's and master's degrees in theater arts and landed a job as an assistant film editor.

From 1958-59, with backing from his father and brother, Kallis wrote and produced the B-movies The Hot Angel, Roadracers and Operation Dames. He wrote an episode of NBC's Wagon Train and then served as associate producer on ABC's The Law and Mr. Jones, starring James Whitmore. He then produced Dick Powell's anthology series at NBC.

Survivors include Lucetta, his wife for 66 years; daughters Karen (and her husband Tim), Laurie (Doug), Katherine (Floyd), Nicole (Paul) and Jennifer; grandchildren Shaun, Sabrina and Hunter; brother Albert; and sister-in-law Trudy. A celebration of his life is being planned.

Donations in his name may be given to the Santa Monica Westside Philharmonic Committee or the Nine O'Clock Players of the Assistance League of Southern California.