Spelling in 1965.
April 22, 1923|
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Died||June 23, 2006
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, singer, dancer, television producer, writer|
|Spouse(s)||Carolyn Jones (1953–1964)
Candy Spelling (1968–2006; his death)
Aaron Spelling (April 22, 1923 – June 23, 2006) was an American film and television producer. As of 2009, Spelling's eponymous production company Spelling Television holds the record as the most prolific television writer, with 218 producer and executive producer credits. Forbes ranked him the 11th top-earning deceased celebrity in 2009.
Spelling was born in Dallas, Texas. He was the son of Pearl (née Wald) and David Spelling, who were Jewish emigrants from Poland. His father worked as a tailor and changed his surname from Spurling to Spelling after emigrating to the United States. Spelling had three brothers: Sam, Max, and Daniel, and a sister, Becky.
At the age of eight, Spelling psychosomatically lost the use of his legs due to trauma caused by constant bullying from his schoolmates, and was confined to bed for a year. After attending Forest Avenue High School, he served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II. He later graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1949, where he was a cheerleader.
In 1988, Spelling bought the 6-acre (2.4 ha) property of Bing Crosby's former Los Angeles house. He demolished the property and built a 123-room home on the lot in 1991. Known as "The Manor", it has 56,500 square feet (5,250 m2) of floor space and is the largest single-family home in Los Angeles. Spelling's widow Candy listed the home for sale in 2008 for $150 million; heiress Petra Ecclestone ultimately purchased the property for $85 million in 2011.
Spelling sold his first script to Jane Wyman Presents in 1954. That same year, he guest starred as a dogcatcher in the premiere episode of the CBS situation comedy, Willy, starring June Havoc as a young lawyer in New Hampshire, who later relocates to New York City to represent a vaudeville troupe.
Beginning in 1968, Spelling began producing successful television shows including The Mod Squad, The Rookies, Charlie's Angels, Beverly Hills 90210 (which starred his daughter Tori), 7th Heaven, Charmed, Jane's House and Sunset Beach. Spelling founded Spelling Entertainment in 1972. He produced the unsuccessful situation comedy The San Pedro Beach Bums in 1977.
In 2004, Spelling was portrayed in two television movies: Dan Castellaneta portrayed Spelling in Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels, and Nicholas Hammond portrayed Spelling in television movie Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure.
Death and legacy
On June 18, 2006, Spelling suffered a severe stroke at The Manor, his estate in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. He died at his estate on June 23, 2006 from complications of the stroke, at the age of 83. A private funeral was held several days later, and Spelling was entombed in a mausoleum in Culver City's Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.
On August 27, 2006, Spelling was posthumously honored at the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards by former employees Joan Collins, Stephen Collins, Heather Locklear, Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith.
On April 4, 2007, it was announced that 7th Heaven's May 13, 2007 series finale would be dedicated to Aaron Spelling. When 7th Heaven ended its run, it was touted by the network as being Spelling's longest-running series and the longest-running "family drama" in American television history.
On September 15, 1978, Spelling was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6667 Hollywood Blvd. In 1996, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
- Aaron Spelling at the Internet Movie Database
- Idato, Michael (September 19, 2005). "The Great Escape". The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH.com). Archived from the original on January 30, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
- Miller, Matthew (October 27, 2009). "Top-Earning Dead Celebrities". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 13, 2013.
- "A Look at Tori Spelling's Family Tree". Genealogymagazine.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "AARON SPELLING BIOGRAPHY". Biography Channel. Archived October 25, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Movies: Biography forAaron Spelling". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012.
- "Aaron Spelling and SMU - News and Communications - SMU". Smu.edu. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- Spelling, Aaron; Graham, Jefferson (1996). A Prime-Time Life: An Autobiography. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-312-14268-1.
- "Aaron Spelling". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale. 2006.
- "Spelling's Widow Fires Back at House Sale Reports". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2006.
- Brown, Len (June 13, 2011). "UK Heiress Purchases Aaron Spelling Mega Mansion". Archived from the original on October 18, 2013.
- Jose, Katharine (July 5, 2006). "Aaron Spelling's Widow Puts Infamous Mansion On Market For $150 Million...". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on July 6, 2006. Retrieved July 5, 2006.
- Chung, Juliet; Jackson, Candace (June 14, 2011). "L.A. Mansion for U.K. Heiress". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2011.
- "First Case". Internet Movie Data Base. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
- "Aaron Spelling". New York Times.
- "Aaron Spelling biography". biography.com. Archived November 14, 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of "Charlie's Angels"". IMDB.com. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2004.
- "Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure". Variety. December 28, 2004.
- "Prime time patriarch". Oralcancerfoundation.org. Archived from the original on September 19, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2001.
- Carter, Bill (June 24, 2006). "Aaron Spelling, Prolific Television Producer, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 8, 2006. Retrieved June 24, 2006.
- "TV innovator Aaron Spelling dies at 83". MSNBC. June 26, 2006. Archived November 9, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "7th Heaven: Will Camdens Reunite for Last Episode?". TVSeriesFinale.com. Archived from the original on April 10, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
- "10th Season Pick-Up Earns "7th Heaven" A Place In Television History". TimeWarner.com. Archived from the original on February 16, 2005. Retrieved February 15, 2005.
- "Spelling's final print interview". The Sydney Morning Herald. September 2004. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012.
- Aaron Spelling at the Internet Movie Database
- Aaron Spelling interview video at the Archive of American Television