December 15, 1933 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Life and career
Link was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Elsie (née Roerecke) and William Theodore Link, a textile broker. He earned a degree from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business prior to serving in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958.
They also collaborated on several made-for-TV movies, including The Gun, My Sweet Charlie, That Certain Summer, The Judge and Jake Wyler, The Execution of Private Slovik, Charlie Cobb: A Nice Night for a Hanging, and Blacke's Magic; the last, which starred Hal Linden and Harry Morgan, was also developed into a short-lived TV series. The partners collaborated as well on two feature films: The Hindenburg (1975) and Rollercoaster (1977). Other collaborations for the small screen included the teleplay of an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour entitled "Day of Reckoning" (original air date November 22, 1962), which was based on a novel by John Garden. Levinson and Link occasionally used the pseudonym "Ted Leighton," most notably on the telefilm Ellery Queen: Don't Look Behind You (1971), where their work was substantially re-written by other hands, and on Columbo when they came up with stories to be scripted by their collaborators.
Following the sudden death of Richard Levinson in 1987, William Link continued his writing and producing career in many media. In 1991, in tribute to Levinson, he wrote the script for the 1991 TV film The Boys, starring James Woods and John Lithgow. He is a frequent contributor to such mystery fiction publications as Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. His post-Levinson TV work includes The Cosby Mysteries (1994–95), starring Bill Cosby, and the short-lived science fiction/detective series Probe, created with Isaac Asimov.
In 1979, Levinson and Link received a Special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for their work on Ellery Queen and Columbo. During the 1980s, they were three-time winners of the Edgar for Best TV Feature or MiniSeries Teleplay, and in 1989 they were given the MWA's Ellery Queen Award, which honors outstanding mystery-writing teams. In November 1995 they were jointly elected to the Television Academy Hall of Fame.
In 2010, the specialist mystery publishing house, Crippen & Landru, released The Columbo Collection, a book featuring a dozen original short stories about Lieutenant Columbo, all written by Link.
- "The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- "Richard Levinson, 52, Writer of Television Mystery Series". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- "Film Reference". Filmreference.com. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
- Browning, Paul (September 2, 2008). "CSULB to Dedicate William Link Theatre with Formal Dinner and Reading of the Award-Winning Writer/Producer's Play". This Week @ The Beach (California State University, Long Beach).
- Official website
- William Link at the Internet Movie Database
- "Bringing Columbo to the Printed Page," by J. Kingston Pierce, The Rap Sheet
- Archive of American Television Interview with William Link
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