Stephen J. Cannell

1941 - 2010

Stephen J. Cannell

Kenny remembers…

“Steve Cannell had only recently gotten his first big break as Story Editor on Adam 12 at Universal when our mutual pal Steven Bochco introduced us in 1972. We became instant and forever friends, sharing the same sense of humor and philosophy of life. Both Steves were instrumental in bringing me to the studio’s attention and giving me a huge leg up in my career.

Steve hired me to write a couple of scripts for him and also set me up to direct at Adam 12. His buoyant spirit and enthusiasm were contagious; his talent was extraordinary, unique and clever. He could write blisteringly fast and more interestingly than anyone I ever met. He was always thinking outside the box, injecting his work with unexpected turns, surprising characters and his trademark wry humor.

I remember him asking me to read and give him my thoughts on his first draft of The Rockford Files. I was dazzled by its wit and clarity and felt not a word should be changed. I also suggested that he might go after Jim Garner – and Steve grinned, saying that he already had.

My wife Susie was also very fond of Steve and was his Production Secretary on Baa Baa Blacksheep. When Susie and I were planning our marriage in 1977 Steve said we had to come check out his church. It became our choice. His photo above was taken at our wedding – to which Steve brought his ever-ready smile, his friendship and all his wonderful energy.

Now we've gone back to that same church to say our farewell to him.

Steve and I shared a great delight in the work that we did. Both of us constantly marveled that we actually got paid for all the fun we were having. That youthful, joyous exuberance never left him.

Steve always – always – had a twinkle in his eye.

I loved him like a dear brother and he will forever live in my heart.”