Larry DiTillio

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Larry DiTillio
Lawrence G. DiTillio

(1948-02-15)February 15, 1948
DiedMarch 16, 2019(2019-03-16) (aged 71)
OccupationTelevision writer
Years active1970–2009

Lawrence G. DiTillio (February 15, 1948 – March 16, 2019) was an American film, TV series, and tabletop role-playing game writer. His creations include He-Man and She-Ra, and the award winning Masks of Nyarlathotep.


Larry DiTillio attended the film school at New York University for four years. He then spent an additional two years at UCLA's film school.[1]


After graduating, DiTillio decided to make a career as a Hollywood writer. He knocked on agency doors until he was able to find an agent willing and able to find him work as a film writer.[1] DiTillio wrote for both television and movies in the 1970s, including a stint on Filmation's Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. He then became a staff writer for the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series and over its two seasons, wrote 17 episodes, more than anyone else. He also directed one episode.

During a writers' strike, DiTillio searched for other ways to generate income through writing. For Flying Buffalo, he wrote The Isle of Darksmoke (1984), their last multiplayer Tunnels & Trolls adventure.[2]:37–38 He also collaborated with Lynn Willis to create Masks of Nyarlathotep (1984), a world-spanning campaign for Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu. It won an Origins Award,[3] and is considered one of the best roleplaying adventures of all time.[2]:86 For a few months, DiTillio was also a contributor to Chaosium's Different Worlds magazine, writing about news from the world of film and television in his "The Sword of Hollywood" column.[4] Other Chaosium titles he wrote or contributed to, include; The Grey Knight, the first adventure for the Pendragon role-playing game, Demon Magic: The Second Stormbringer Companion for the Stormbringer fantasy role-playing game, and the Call of Cthulhu supplement Terror Australis.[5]

Despite his success in the role-playing games industry, once the screenwriters' strike ended, DiTillio went back to screenwriting.[6]

In 1985, he wrote the feature-length film He-Man and She-Ra: Secret of the Sword. Following its release, he and J. Michael Straczynski became writers for Filmation's spin-off show She-Ra: Princess of Power.[1] DiTillio created the show bible for the spinoff show and invented most of the character names.[7] Straczynski later recalled the considerable time DiTillio spent writing character background for the show. "One of the things Larry and I decided, very early on, was that She-Ra couldn't just be 'He-Man with boobs.' The show had to go deeper than that, especially given that we were creating this for a female lead character."[1] However, when Filmation refused to give them credit on-screen, both left, finding work with DIC Entertainment on Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors.

In 1993, DiTillio worked with Straczynski again, this time on the science-fiction series Babylon 5, with Straczynski as producer and DiTillio the executive story editor.[6][2]:41 DiTillio also worked on the animated series Beast Wars, writing or co-writing most of the episodes.[2]:41 In 2002, he was a writer for the updated He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series.

DiTillio died at the age of 71 on March 16, 2019.[1]


Year Role Show
1972 Writer Those Mad, Mad Moviemakers
1984 Writer Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids
1985 Writer He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword
1985 Writer Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors (7 episodes)
1983-1985 Writer He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (17 episodes)
1985 Writer She-Ra: Princess of Power (18 episodes)
1985-1986 Writer Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling
1986 Writer The Centurions
1986 Writer Galaxy High
1987 Writer Bionic Six
1987-88 Writer Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future
1988 Writer Superman (2 episodes)
1989 Writer The California Raisin Show (5 episodes)
1989 Writer Captain Power: The Beginning (TV Movie)
1987 Writer The Real Ghostbusters
1990 Writer Swamp Thing
1990 Writer Deadly Nightmares
1990 Writer Peter Pan & the Pirates
1991 Writer The Hidden Room (TV series)
1991 Writer Murder, She Wrote (1 Episode)
1992 Writer Conan the Adventurer
1994-1995 Writer/Executive Story Editor Babylon 5
1996 Writer Hypernauts
1996-99 Writer/Story Editor Beast Wars: Transformers
2002-2004 Writer He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
2005 Writer Kong: The Animated Series
2009 Writer Transformers: Animated


  1. ^ a b c d e Weiss, Josh (2019-03-17). "Larry DiTillio, co-creator of She-Ra and well-known genre TV writer has passed away". SyFy Wire. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  2. ^ a b c d Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
  3. ^ "Origins Award Winners (1996)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-12-21.
  4. ^ "Larry DiTiilio Passed Away". Dungeon Master Magazine. 2019-03-17. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  5. ^ Mason, Mike (2019-03-17). "Larry DiTillio, Visionary Game Designer and Writer, 1940-2019". Chaosium. Retrieved 2020-04-11.
  6. ^ a b Faragher, Steve (March 1997). "The Complete Masks of Nyarlathotep". Arcane. Future Publishing (17): 56–57.
  7. ^ Scheimer, Lou (2012). Creating the Filmmation Generation. Two Morrows Publishing. ISBN 978-1605490441.

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