Aaron Spelling

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Aaron Spelling
Aaron Spelling TWA ad photo.JPG
Spelling in 1965
Born(1923-04-22)April 22, 1923
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
DiedJune 23, 2006(2006-06-23) (aged 83)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeHillside Memorial Park Cemetery
Alma materSouthern Methodist University
Occupation
  • Actor
  • singer
  • dancer
  • television producer
  • writer
Spouse(s)
(m. 1953; div. 1964)
(m. 1968)
Children

Aaron Spelling (April 22, 1923 – June 23, 2006) was an American film and television producer. His productions include the TV series Family (1976-1980), Charlie's Angels (1976–81), The Love Boat (1977–86), Hart to Hart (1979–84), Dynasty (1981–89), Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–2000), Melrose Place (1992-1999), 7th Heaven (1996–2007), and Charmed (1998–2006). He also served as producer of Mod Squad (1968–73), The Rookies (1972–76), and Sunset Beach (1997–99).

Through his eponymous production company Spelling Television, Spelling holds the record as the most prolific television producer in US television history, with 218 producer and executive producer credits.[1][2] Forbes ranked him the 11th top-earning deceased celebrity in 2009.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Spelling was born in Dallas, Texas. He was the son of Pearl (née Wald) and David Spelling, Russian Jewish immigrants.[4] His father worked as a tailor and changed his surname from Spurling to Spelling after emigrating to the United States.[5] Spelling had three brothers: Sam, Max, and Daniel, and a sister, Becky.[6]

At the age of eight, Spelling psychosomatically lost the use of his legs due to trauma caused by constant anti-semitic bullying from his schoolmates, and was confined to bed for a year. He made a full recovery.[7]

After attending Forest Avenue High School in Dallas, he served in the United States Army Air Corps as a pilot during World War II.

Spelling later graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1949, where he was a cheerleader.[8]

He married actress Carolyn Jones in 1953, in California. They divorced in 1964.[9] Spelling married Candy Gene (née Marer) in 1968. The couple had daughter Tori in 1973 and son Randy in 1978.[10]

In 1988, Spelling bought the 6-acre (2.4 ha) property of Bing Crosby's former Los Angeles house.[11] 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.[12][13] Spelling's widow Candy listed the home for sale in 2008 for $150 million.[13] Heiress Petra Ecclestone ultimately purchased the property for $85 million in 2011 through a brokered agreement that was developed by Brandon Davis, the brother of Jason Davis and grandson of wealthy industrialist, Marvin Davis.[14][15][16]

Career[edit]

Spelling made his first appearance as an actor in a film as Harry Williams in Vicki, directed by Harry Horner, in 1953. That same year, he appeared in the TV series I Led Three Lives and Dragnet (six episodes, 1953–55).[17] Spelling appeared in episode 112 of I Love Lucy ("Tennessee Bound," season 4, 1955)[18][19] and Alfred Hitchcock Presents ("Breakdown", 1955).[17] He continued to appear in films and TV (often uncredited) over 25 times by 1957, appearing briefly as an actor in 1963, 1995, and 1998 (all uncredited.)[20]

Spelling sold his first script to Jane Wyman Presents in 1954. He guest-starred that same year 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.[21] Two years later, Spelling gained experience as a producer and additional credits as a script writer working on the Four Star television series Zane Grey Theater, which aired between 1956 and 1961. Of the 149 episodes in that series, he wrote 20 of the teleplays and produced many others.

Thomas-Spelling Productions was a television production company formed by comedian Danny Thomas and producer Aaron Spelling on April 15, 1966 as a partnership with 24 properties. Thomas continued his existing partnership, T&L Productions, with Sheldon Leonard.[22] The company adapted its name by July 18, 1966 when it announced the financial involvement of ABC with its first show, Range (later Rango), a half-hour comedy western starring Tim Conway[23][24] and its rented space on Desilu Productions' Gower lot. ABC also picked up another show for a pilot, just in an outline treatment, in The Guns of Will Sonnett.[23] Thomas-Spelling Productions' active operations ended with the last season of The Mod Squad in 1972. Spelling formed a new partnership with Leonard Goldberg, Spelling-Goldberg Productions.

Beginning in 1965, Spelling began producing successful television shows including The Mod Squad, The Rookies, Family, Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, Dynasty, Beverly Hills, 90210 (which starred his daughter Tori), Melrose Place, 7th Heaven, Charmed, Jane's House and Sunset Beach.[25] Spelling founded Spelling Entertainment in 1965, alongside partnerships with comedian/actor Danny Thomas (Thomas-Spelling Productions, 1966–1972), and television/film producer Leonard Goldberg (Spelling-Goldberg Productions, 1972–1986)[26] 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,[27] and Nicholas Hammond portrayed Spelling in television movie Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure.[28]

Death and legacy[edit]

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.

In 1983 he was accorded the NAACP Humanitarian Award for his monetary donation that permitted a 21-year-old's heart transplant operation.[29]

In 2001, Spelling was diagnosed with oral cancer.[30]

On June 23, 2006, Spelling died at The Manor, his estate in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, from complications of a stroke he suffered five days prior.[31][32] He also suffered from Alzheimer's disease.[33] 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.

7th Heaven's May 13, 2007, episode, the last before the series finale, was dedicated to Spelling.[34] 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.[35]

Filmography[edit]

All films, he was producer unless otherwise noted.

Film[edit]

Year Film Credit Notes
1960 Guns of the Timberland
1974 California Split Executive producer
1976 Baby Blue Marine
1983 Mr. Mom Executive producer
1986 'night, Mother
1987 Surrender
Three O'Clock High Executive producer
Cross My Heart Associate producer
1988 Satisfaction
1990 Loose Cannons
1991 Soapdish
1999 The Mod Squad Executive producer
2000 Charlie's Angels Executive producer Final film as a producer
As writer
Year Film
1960 Guns of the Timberland
One Foot in Hell
As an actor
Year Film Role Notes
1953 Vicki Harry Williams
1954 Three Young Texans Catur
Alaska Seas The Knifer
Black Widow Mr. Oliver
Uncredited
The Bamboo Prison Skinny
Uncredited
1955 Wyoming Renegades Petie Carver
Mad at the World Willie Hanson
Target Zero Pfc. Strangler
Uncredited
Kismet Beggar
Uncredited
Dementia Nightclub Patron
Uncredited
1957 The Spirit of St. Louis Mr. Fearless
Uncredited

Television[edit]

Year Title Credit Notes
1959−60 Johnny Ringo
1961 The DuPont Show with June Allyson
1959−61 Zane Grey Theatre
1961−63 The Dick Powell Show
1962−63 The Lloyd Bridges Show Executive producer
1965 The Decorator Executive producer Television short
1963−66 Burke's Law
1965−66 Honey West Executive producer
The Smothers Brothers Show Executive producer
1967 Rango
Off to See the Wizard Executive producer
Cricket on the Hearth Executive producer Television film
1968 The Danny Thomas Hour
1967−69 The Guns of Will Sonnett
1969 The Over-the-Hill Gang Executive producer Television film
Wake Me When the War Is Over Executive producer Television film
The Monk Executive producer Television film
The Pigeon Executive producer Television film
The Ballad of Andy Crocker Executive producer Television film
1969−70 The New People Executive producer
1970 Carter's Army Executive producer Television film
The Love War Television film
Death Valley Days
How Awful About Allan Executive producer Television film
But I Don't Want to Get Married! Television film
The Old Man Who Cried Wolf Executive producer Television film
Wild Women Executive producer Television film
The House That Would Not Die Television film
The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again Executive producer Television film
Crowhaven Farm Executive producer Television film
Run, Simon, Run Television film
1970−71 The Young Rebels Executive producer
The Most Deadly Game Executive producer
1971 Love Hate Love Executive producer Television film
Yuma Television film
River of Gold Executive producer Television film
Congratulations, It's a Boy! Television film
Five Desperate Women Television film
The Last Child Executive producer Television film
A Taste of Evil Television film
In Broad Daylight Executive producer Television film
The Death of Me Yet Television film
The Reluctant Heroes Executive producer Television film
If Tomorrow Comes Executive producer Television film
The Trackers Executive producer Television film
1972 Two for the Money Executive producer Television film
The Daughters of Joshua Cabe Executive producer Television film
No Place to Run Television film
Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole Television film
Rolling Man Executive producer Television film
The Bounty Man Television film
Home for the Holidays Executive producer Television film
Every Man Needs One Executive producer Television film
1973 A Cold Night's Death Executive producer Television film
Snatched Executive producer Television film
The Great American Beauty Contest Executive producer Television film
The Letters Television film
The Bait Television film
Satan's School for Girls Television film
Hijack! Executive producer Television film
Letters from Three Lovers Executive producer Television film
The Affair Executive producer Television film
Stone Co-executive producer Television film
1968−73 The Mod Squad Executive producer
1974 The Death Squad Television film
Firehouse Executive producer
Chopper One Executive producer
The Girl Who Came Gift-Wrapped Television film
Cry Panic Television film
Savages Television film
Death Sentence Television film
Hit Lady Television film
Death Cruise Television film
Only with Married Men Executive producer Television film
The Fireman's Ball Executive producer Television film
1975 The Daughters of Joshua Cabe Return Executive producer Television film
The Fireman's Ball Executive producer Television pilot
Murder on Flight 502 Executive producer Television film
The Legend of Valentino Executive producer Television film
1976 One of My Wives Is Missing Executive producer Television film
The New Daughters of Joshua Cabe Executive producer Television film
Death at Love House Executive producer Television film
33 Hours in the Life of God Television film
The Sad and Lonely Sundays Executive producer Television film
The Boy in the Plastic Bubble Executive producer Television film
1972−76 The Rookies Executive producer
1975−76 S.W.A.T. Executive producer
1977 Little Ladies of the Night Executive producer Television film
The Love Boat II Executive producer Television film
The San Pedro Bums Executive producer Television pilot
The San Pedro Beach Bums Executive producer
1978 Cruise Into Terror Television film
Wild and Wooly Executive producer Television film
Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid Executive producer Television film
The Users Executive producer Television film
1979 Friends Executive producer
Beach Patrol Executive producer Television film
The Power Within Executive producer Television film
The Return of the Mod Squad Executive producer Television film
Love's Savage Fury Executive producer Television film
The French Atlantic Affair Executive producer
1975−79 Starsky & Hutch Executive producer
1980 Waikiki Executive producer Television film
Murder Can Hurt You! Executive producer Television film
Casino Executive producer Television film
B.A.D. Cats Executive producer
1976−80 Family Executive producer
1981 Aloha Paradise Executive producer
The Best Little Girl in the World Executive producer Television film
Sizzle Executive producer Television film
1976−81 Charlie's Angels Executive producer
1978−81 Vegas Executive producer
1981−82 Strike Force Executive producer
1982 Massarati and the Brain Executive producer Television film
Scared Silly Executive producer Television pilot
The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch Executive producer Television film
Don't Go to Sleep Executive producer Television film
1983 At Ease Executive producer
Shooting Stars Executive producer Television film
Venice Medical Executive producer Television short
Making of a Male Model Executive producer Television film
1984 Dark Mirror Executive producer Television film
Velvet Television film
1977−84 Fantasy Island Executive producer
1979−84 Hart to Hart Executive producer
1985 Hollywood Wives Executive producer
MacGruder and Loud Executive producer
International Airport Executive producer Television film
Hollywood Beat Executive producer
1982−85 Matt Houston Executive producer
1984−85 Finder of Lost Loves Executive producer
Glitter Executive producer
1986 Crossings Executive producer
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Executive producer Television film
Dark Mansions Executive producer Television film
Life with Lucy Executive producer
1982−86 T. J. Hooker Executive producer
1977−87 The Love Boat Executive producer
Associate producer
1985−87 The Colbys Executive producer
1987 Harry's Hong Kong Executive producer Television film
Cracked Up Executive producer Television film
The Hope Division Executive producer Television film
Free Spirit Executive producer Television film
1983−88 Hotel Executive producer
1988 Nightingales Executive producer Television pilot
CBS Summer Playhouse Executive producer
Divided We Stand Executive producer Television pilot
The Loner Executive producer Television film
1989 Day One Executive producer Television film
Nightingales Executive producer
Just Temporary Executive producer Television film
1981−89 Dynasty Executive producer
1988−89 HeartBeat Executive producer
1990 Rich Men, Single Women Executive producer Television film
The Love Boat: A Valentine Voyage Executive producer Television film
Just Life Executive producer Television film
1991 Jailbirds Executive producer Television film
Dynasty: The Reunion Executive producer
1992 Back to the Streets of San Francisco Executive producer Television film
Grass Roots Executive producer Television film
Sexual Advances Executive producer Television film
The Heights
2000 Malibu Road Executive producer
The Round Table Executive producer
1993 And the Band Played On Executive producer Television film
A Stranger in the Mirror Executive producer Television film
Gulf City Executive producer Television film
1994 Jane's House Executive producer Television film
Winnetka Road Executive producer
Love on the Run Executive producer Television film
Green Dolphin Beat Executive producer Television film
Texas Executive producer Television film
Heaven Help Us Executive producer
1994−95 Models Inc. Executive producer
Robin's Hoods Executive producer
Madman of the People Executive producer
Burke's Law Executive producer
1995 University Hospital Executive producer
The Invaders Executive producer
Crosstown Traffic Executive producer Television film
1996 A Season in Purgatory Executive producer
Pier 66 Executive producer Television film
Malibu Shores Executive producer
After Jimmy Executive producer Television film
Kindred: The Embraced Executive producer
1996−97 Savannah Executive producer
1997 Pacific Palisades Executive producer
Odd Jobs Television film
1998 Love Boat: The Next Wave Executive producer
Buddy Faro Executive producer
1999 Rescue 77 Executive producer
Safe Harbor Executive producer
Forbidden Island Executive producer
1992−99 Melrose Place Executive producer
1997−99 Sunset Beach Executive producer
2000 Satan's School for Girls Executive producer Television film
1990−2000 Beverly Hills, 90210 Executive producer
2000−01 Titans Executive producer
2001 Stop at Nothing Television film
All Souls Executive producer
2002 Home of the Brave Executive producer Television film
Deep Cover Executive producer
2003 Queens Supreme Executive producer
Kingpin Executive producer
The Law and Mr. Lee Executive producer Television film
Hotel Executive producer Television pilot
2003−04 10-8: Officers on Duty Executive producer
2004 Silver Lake Executive producer Television film
2004−05 Clubhouse Executive producer
Summerland Executive producer
2005 Wanted Executive producer
Hitched Executive producer Television film
Crazy Executive producer Television pilot
Bounty Hunters Executive producer Television film
1996−2006 7th Heaven Executive producer
1998−2006 Charmed Executive producer
2006 Split Decision Executive producer Television film
As writer
Year Title Notes
1957 Fireside Theatre
Big-Foot Wallace Television film
1958 Playhouse 90
Decision
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse
1957−59 Wagon Train
1959 The David Niven Show
1959−60 Johnny Ringo
1956−61 Zane Grey Theatre
1962 The Dick Powell Show
Kraft Mystery Theater
1962−63 The Lloyd Bridges Show
1965−66 The Smothers Brothers Show
1967−69 The Guns of Will Sonnett
1969−70 The New People
1970 Carter's Army Television film
1971 The Trackers Television film
Uncredited
1974 The Rookies
As an actor
Year Title Role Notes
1953 I Led 3 Lives Elevator Operator
1954 The Lone Wolf Loran Dane
Willy Dog Catcher
Treasury Men in Action N/A
1955 I Love Lucy Gas Station Man
Soldiers of Fortune Charlie Applegood
The Man Behind the Badge Billy
Fireside Theatre Olaf
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Road Worker
1953−55 Dragnet Bruce Marcus
'Bigs' Donaldson
Charlie Coleman
Ollie
Charles Boyd
1956 Big Town N/A
Crusader Andrew Hock
Valentino
Gunsmoke Weed Pindle
The Millionaire Max
1955−56 Studio 57 Docker
Olaf
TV Reader's Digest Colonel Dornet
Ben Williams
1963 Burke's Law Harry Penn
Uncredited
1995 Beverly Hills, 90210 Executive in Limo
Uncredited
1998 Sunset Beach Vincent Duke
Uncredited
2001 Charmed Aaron
Mourner
Uncredited
Miscellaneous crew
Year Title Role Notes
1957−58 Zane Grey Theatre Story supervisor
1982 The Renegades Creative consultant Television pilot
Soundtrack
Year Title Song Notes
1956 Gunsmoke Performer: "Red River Valley"
Uncredited
1958 Zane Grey Theatre Writer: "The Ballad of Dan Case"
Uncredited
As director
Year Title
1959 Wagon Train
Thanks
Year Title Notes
2006−07 7th Heaven In memory of
In loving memory of
2012 The Adventures of Dugg & Lemmy Very special thanks

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aaron Spelling on IMDb
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Miller, Matthew (October 27, 2009). "Top-Earning Dead Celebrities". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 13, 2013.
  4. ^ "Spelling, Aaron". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  5. ^ "A Look at Tori Spelling's Family Tree". Genealogymagazine.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  6. ^ "AARON SPELLING BIOGRAPHY". Biography Channel. Archived October 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Aaron Spelling biography". NYTimes.com Movies & TV. The New York Times (All Movie Guide and Baseline). Archived from the original on June 26, 2012.
  8. ^ "Aaron Spelling and SMU - News and Communications - SMU". Smu.edu. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Aaron Spelling. Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale. 2006.
  11. ^ "Spelling's Widow Fires Back at House Sale Reports". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on February 20, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2006.
  12. ^ Brown, Len (June 13, 2011). "UK Heiress Purchases Aaron Spelling Mega Mansion". Archived from the original on October 18, 2013.
  13. ^ a b 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "Brandon Davis Key Person in Spelling Mansion Sale". TMZ. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  16. ^ "Petra Ecclestone, Candy Spelling, Aaron Spelling and the Spelling Mansion". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Aaron Spelling - IMDb, acting credits
  18. ^ Nick at Nite's Classic TV Companion, edited by Tom Hill, copyright 1996 by Viacom International, p. 278
  19. ^ https://www.metv.com/lists/7-surprising-guest-stars-on-i-love-lucy
  20. ^ "Aaron Spelling at IMDb". IMDb.
  21. ^ "First Case". Internet Movie Data Base. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  22. ^ "Spelling, Thomas join in TV production firm" (PDF). Broadcasting. Broadcasting Publications: 10. April 18, 1966. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  23. ^ a b Broadcasting, Dec 12, 1966, pg. 103 "Aaron Spelling -partner with Danny Thomas in Thomas/Spelling Productions and president, Aaron Spelling Productions."
  24. ^ Broadcasting, Jul 18, 1966, pg. 48
  25. ^ "Aaron Spelling Awards". IMDb.
  26. ^ "Aaron Spelling biography". biography.com. Archived November 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of "Charlie's Angels"". IMDB.com. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2004.
  28. ^ "Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure". Variety. December 28, 2004.
  29. ^ London, Michael (December 6, 1983). "NAACP Confers Image Awards". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. 66 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ "Prime time patriarch". Oralcancerfoundation.org. Archived from the original on September 19, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2001.
  31. ^ Carter, Bill (June 24, 2006). "Aaron Spelling, Prolific Television Producer, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2006.
  32. ^ "TV innovator Aaron Spelling dies at 83". MSNBC. June 26, 2006.
  33. ^ "After Aaron: Dynasty in Distress". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  34. ^ "7th Heaven: Will Camdens Reunite for Last Episode?". TVSeriesFinale.com. Archived from the original on April 10, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2007.
  35. ^ "10th Season Pick-Up Earns "7th Heaven" A Place In Television History". Time Warner. Archived from the original on February 16, 2005. Retrieved February 15, 2005.

External links[edit]