Gary David Goldberg, who created the 1980s sitcom hit “Family Ties” and expanded into feature films, has died.
Goldberg died of brain cancer in Montecito, Calif., on Saturday, days before his 69th birthday, The New York Times reported.
Goldberg’s TV successes also included the ABC comedy “Spin City,” which in 1996 reunited him with “Family Ties” breakout star Michael J. Fox as the deputy mayor of New York City.
“With a full heart I say goodbye to my mentor, benefactor, partner, second father and beloved friend,” Fox said in a statement on Monday. “He touched so many with his enormous talent and generous spirit. He changed my life profoundly.”
Like Archie Bunker on All in the Family a decade prior, Fox’s Alex P. Keaton character was conceived as the bad guy of the sitcom, but thanks to Fox’s deft portrayal, he became the breakout character and his show a giant hit — if only because millions of Americans, then and now, are desperate for a remotely sympathetic conservative character on television. (See also: “unexpected” success of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc.)