TV writer-producer L. Travis Clark dies

Wrote, produced TNT's first original film in 1990

L. Travis Clark, who 20 years ago was one of the few African-Americans writing and producing for television, died Oct. 30 in Las Vegas after undergoing recent heart surgery. He was 59.

Clark wrote and produced the first original film for TNT, 1990's "The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson," which was a hit for the Turner network that had launched two years earlier. The film starred Andre Braugher and centered on the baseball pioneer's battle against segregation during his days in the U.S. Army.

Before that, the Louisiana native and Vietnam veteran wrote and produced 1989 ABC primetime series "A Man Called Hawk," starring Avery Brooks, and co-created, wrote and produced "Tour of Duty," which aired 1987-90 in primetime on CBS and Canada's CBC.

Clark also wrote and served as an executive producer on the syndicated series "Sirens" for All-American Communications and Telescene Film Group and was an exec producer on the series "Urban Angel," which ran on CBC and CBS.

Clark also worked as a talent manager and helped guide the careers of such entertainers and athletes as Jean-Claude Van Damme, MC Hammer, Melvin Van Peebles, Bruce Campbell, Philip Michael Thomas, Edwin Moses, Fred Williamson, Willie Gault, Steven Bauer and Lela Rochon.

Clark formed a company with longtime friend Tyrone "Tippy" Washington called CW Management before his health took a turn for the worse.