June 27, 2006

Aaron Spelling Dies at 83

Aaron SpellingThe man who brought so many hit TV shows to air, died at his Los Angeles estate this past Friday, June 23rd, five days after suffering a stroke. He was 83 years old.

Born April 22, 1923, in Dallas, Spelling was the fourth of five children in a family that lived "on the wrong side of the tracks," Spelling recalled in his 1996 autobiography, "A Prime Time Life." His father, David, worked as a tailor for Sears. As the lone Jew in his school, Spelling frequently was taunted and harassed by other students. He spent a year in bed at the age of eight after suffering a nervous breakdown from the constant pressure. The experience shaped his personality and spurred in him the creative storytelling impulse.

Among his many credits, he brought Lucille Ball's last series, Life With Lucy, to TV. Spelling's longtime friendship with Lucille Ball led to one of the few half-hour comedies he ever attempted, with the short-lived sitcom, Life With Lucy. The show was a high-profile flop for ABC in the fall of 1986. Spelling once said he knew the show would not make it during the first day of shooting for the pilot, when audience members gasped as Ball, then in her mid-70s, struggled to pull off the physical comedy that had been her trademark.

Funeral services will be private. Longtime Spelling publicist Kevin Sasaki said a memorial service is being planned for next month.

For a complete write-up on his career and his extraordinary life, visit E-online!

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