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David Davis, Author-Producer on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Present,’ ‘Rhoda,’ ‘The Bob Newhart Present’ and ‘Taxi,’ Dies at 86


David Davis, the Emmy-winning author and producer whose heyday within the Nineteen Seventies included invaluable work on the enduring community sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore Present, Rhoda, The Bob Newhart Present and Taxi, has died. He was 86.

Davis died Friday in Los Angeles, his daughter Samantha Davis-Friedman informed The Hollywood Reporter.

Survivors embrace his spouse, actress Julie Kavner, finest often known as the voice of Marge Simpson on The Simpsons. Davis really useful her for the a part of Brenda Morgenstern, Valerie Harper‘s insecure sister on Rhoda — it was her first paying job as an actress — they usually have been collectively since 1976.

Rhoda “gave me my life, it gave me my profession, it gave me the love of my life, David Davis,” Kavner mentioned in a 2009 interview.

A member of the MTM Enterprises manufacturing firm based by Grant Tinker and Mary Tyler Moore, Davis began out on MTM’s inaugural sequence, The Mary Tyler Moore Present, in 1970.

Davis penned episodes together with his frequent writing accomplice, Lorenzo Music, and likewise was a line producer for the sitcom’s first two seasons earlier than the pair have been supplied an opportunity to write down a pilot for a present starring Bob Newhart.

“I used to be in heavy responsibility remedy on the time, and we thought, ‘Let’s make him a psychologist,’” Davis recalled in a 2005 American Masters interview. “Bob listens humorous. And he’s a reactive. He’s a terrific reactive comic.

“However the important thing to the present, imagine it or not, was that we needed to offer him a life at dwelling. We needed to do a present like The Mary Tyler Moore Present, the place he lives and the place he works. … We didn’t wish to do a present with children. We didn’t wish to do a present with canines and pets just like the outdated state of affairs comedies of all.

“And we thought, you recognize, Bob is at the moment, he’s like in his 40s. Why don’t we now have him married? Nevertheless it’s a younger marriage, it’s a brand new marriage, it’s a primary marriage for each. And so you possibly can do a present about marriage utilizing younger married issues, however with mature individuals. And that, I believe, is the important thing to the success of this present.”

Additionally starring Suzanne Pleshette because the spouse of Newhart’s Chicago psychologist Bob Hartley, plus Invoice Each day, Peter Bonerz and Marcia Wallace, the sequence debuted in 1972 on CBS’ legendary Saturday night time lineup — additionally that includes The Mary Tyler Moore Present, All within the Household and The Carol Burnett Present — and ran for six seasons.

Whereas engaged on the Newhart comedy, Davis and Music have been tasked with creating Rhoda, the spinoff of The Mary Tyler Moore Present. That sequence, created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns, was an on the spot stumble on its arrival on CBS in 1974 and went on for 5 seasons.

Davis then created Taxi with former MTM mates Brooks, Stan Daniels and Ed. Weinberger. Set inside a New York cab firm and starring Judd Hirsch and Danny DeVito, it bowed on ABC in 1978 and lasted 5 seasons.

Davis obtained his Emmy in 1979 for excellent comedy sequence for producing Taxi, sharing the glory with Brooks, Daniels, Weinberger and brothers Glen and Les Charles. It was the final of his seven profession Emmy noms.

Born in Brooklyn on Aug. 5, 1936, Davis labored on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis as a dialogue supervisor for the CBS present’s third and fourth seasons in 1962-63 and as a script supervisor on the 1963 pilot for CBS’ Gilligan’s Island. He then served as an affiliate producer on ABC’s O.Okay. Crackerby!, NBC’s My Mom the Automotive — co-created by Burns and written by Brooks — CBS’ He & She and NBC-CBS’ Get Good.

In 1969, he and Music wrote for CBS selection exhibits hosted by Leslie Uggams and Glen Campbell and for the ABC anthology sequence Love, American Type earlier than they landed on The Mary Tyler Moore Present.

Davis additionally shot the title sequences for The Bob Newhart Present and Taxi and did Rhoda’s pivotal New York sequence for the October 1974 episode “Rhoda’s Marriage ceremony,” during which Harper raced by way of Manhattan in her marriage ceremony robe.

After he retired in 1979, Davis served as a particular adviser on the Brooks written and directed movies Phrases of Endearment (1983) and Broadcast Information (1987).

Along with Kavner and Davis-Friedman, survivors embrace one other daughter, Abigail, and grandsons Joshua, Jacob, Aden, Asher and Elijah.

David Davis, Author-Producer on ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Present,’ ‘Rhoda,’ ‘The Bob Newhart Present’ and ‘Taxi,’ Dies at 86

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