The creator of Knots Landing, Dallas and Paradise has died at the age of 84 after a year-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
David Jacobs died Sunday afternoon in Burbank, California, at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, his son announced.
While the showrunner and writer suffered from Alzheimer’s for several years, his son Aaron said a series of infections led to his death.
Aaron told Deadline, “He had Alzheimer’s for many years and recently he had recurrent infections that led to his death.”
He added that David only celebrated his 84th birthday eight days before his death.
David Jacobs (pictured) died Sunday afternoon in Burbank, California, his family said
Dallas recently celebrated its 45th anniversary, having first aired in 1978
David Jacobs died Sunday afternoon after a year-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease
Jacobs is credited with changing American television forever, as his shows were a staple in almost every US household by the 1980s.
Dallas, which aired for 14 seasons and had 357 episodes, was the longest-running television show at the time.
The show, which followed the exploits of a wealthy and perpetually feuding oil-owning family, celebrated its 45th anniversary this year.
He boasted that he wrote the first five episodes of Dallas without ever visiting the city.
“I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just write it. I don’t have time to get away, so I’ll just write it very stereotypically — with stereotypes — and then I’ll visit it and withdraw it.” And then I went to Dallas and realized I had to walk the path.”
“There’s something about Dallas and the people of Dallas that I can only describe as flamboyant but not ostentatious,” he added.
“Knots Landing,” a Dallas spin-off he also directed, ran almost as long at 344 episodes.
He was nominated for two Emmys in 1992 and 1993 for “Homefront.”
With 14 seasons and 357 episodes, Dallas was one of the longest-running shows in US television history
He also served as executive producer on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Homefront, for which he was nominated for two Emmys.
David was born in Baltimore in 1939 to his father, Melvin, whom he described as a bookie, billiards champion, crooner, and songwriter, and his mother, Ruther, the woman who “kept him out of it all.”
His father had several jobs that made him miserable and which apparently left a lasting impression.
He reportedly said, “He went to work every day to do something he hated.” At one point I said, “I’ll never do that. I will never go to work hating what I do.’
After graduating from Hunter College in New York, he became a writer and has written and edited a number of magazines and books.
He was then asked to rewrite the script for the CBS show Delvecchio before being given the opportunity to rewrite another CBS show called The Blue Knight.
David is survived by his children Aaron and Molly; his wife Diana; Albyn Hall, his daughter from his previous marriage to Lynne Oliansky; and his two grandchildren, Riley and Georgia.