Martin Cohan

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Martin Paul "Marty" Cohan [1] (July 4, 1932 – May 19, 2010) was an American television producer and writer. Cohan co-created the sitcom, Who's the Boss?, which aired on ABC from 1984 until 1992, with business partner, Blake Hunter.[2] Cohan is also credited with creating Silver Spoons,[3] which ran on NBC from 1982 to 1987 and launched the career of actor Rick Schroder.[3]


Early life[edit]

Cohan was born in San Francisco, California, on July 4, 1932. He was also a descendant of the Biblical Aaron and a Conservative Jew.[2][4][5][6] He received a bachelor's degree in theater arts from Stanford University in 1955.[2]


Cohan began working as a stage manager and assistant director at the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) following his graduation from Stanford University.[2][3] He worked in film and documentaries during this stage in his career, including for director Mike Nichols in the 1970 film, Catch-22.[3] Cohan created a documentary called The Children of Paris before taking a position in a documentary firm owned by David L. Wolper.[3] Cohan's work as a writer and researcher for the documentaries, Hollywood and the Stars in 1963 and Let My People Go: The Story of Israel in 1965 also led to a job working in Univerisal Television's documentary department.[3]

Cohan transitioned to writing for sitcoms, including All in the Family and the Odd Couple, during the 1970s.[3] In 1971, Cohan achieved professional recognition as an assistant director on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.[2] He was awarded the best comedy episode award from the Writers Guild of America for his screenwriting on the show in 1972.[2] Cohan was also the recipient of an NAACP award for furthering interracial understanding during the 1970s.[3] After leaving The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cohan directed, produced, and wrote for The Bob Newhart Show[2] and was co-producer of The Ted Knight Show.

In the early 1980s, Cohan co-created Who's the Boss? with business partner, Blake Hunter.[2][3] The successful sitcom, starring Tony Danza, Judith Light, Alyssa Milano, Danny Pintauro and Katherine Helmond, ran from 1984 to 1992. Cohan's sister actress Rhoda Gemignani[7] also had a recurring role as Mrs. Rossini on the show. Cohan and Hunter also worked as creative consultants for the British television series, The Upper Hand.[2] The Upper Hand, a British television adaptation of Who's the Boss?, debuted in 1990 and aired for seven seasons on ITV.[2]

Cohan also penned scripts for episodes of numerous other television shows, including Silver Spoons and Diff'rent Strokes.

Martin Cohan died at his home in Pacific Palisades, California, of large-cell lymphoma on May 19, 2010, at the age of 77.[2] He was survived by his wife, Dawn, a son, a daughter, two stepchildren, a step-grandson, and a sister.[3] His memorial service was held at Mt. Sinai's Chapel Tenach in Forest Lawn.[3]

Cohan's longtime business partner, Blake Hunter, was quoted in Variety: "Marty is the brother I wish I had, the talent I stood in awe of, and the friend I can never replace."[3]


External links[edit]