Rift Fournier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rift Fournier
Rift Fournier, St. Louis 2013
Born(1936-05-16)May 16, 1936
DiedOctober 6, 2013(2013-10-06) (aged 77)
OccupationScreenwriter, producer

Rift Fournier (May 16, 1936 – October 6, 2013) was an American writer, screenwriter and television producer. Fournier, who lost the ability to walk at 17 years old due to polio, had a long and diverse career in television.[1][2] He wrote episodes of numerous television series, including Baretta, Charlie's Angels, Highway to Heaven, Hell Town, Kojak, Matlock, Charley Hannah, High Mountain Rangers and NYPD Blue.[1]

Fournier was born in 1936 in Wichita, Kansas, and raised in both Chicago and Omaha, Nebraska.[1][2] His parents decided to call him "Rift" after a dispute over what they would name their son.[2] Fournier was acting and screenwriting at the Omaha Community Playhouse by the time he was 13 years old.[2] He attended a Jesuit school, where he excelled as an athlete.[2]

Fournier contracted polio during his junior year in high school.[2] On a Sunday morning in 1953, Fournier collapsed while getting out of bed to answer the telephone.[2] He never regained his ability to walk and remained in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.[1][2] Rift Fournier never let his disability dissuade him from pursuing his career. In a 1986 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said, "I didn't know [polio] was supposed to stop me from doing something,...You've heard the joke. 'I never knew I was poor.… ' Well, I never knew I was handicapped."[1]

In 1963, Fournier began co-producing The Mike Douglas Show, which was created in Cleveland, Ohio, for syndication.[1]

He died in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 6, 2013, at the age of 77.[1] Cause of death was cancer.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Barnes, Mike (2013-10-11). "TV Producer, Writer Rift Fournier Dies". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h de la Vina, Mark (1986-08-15). "Wheelchair-bound Writer-producer : Nobody Ever Took His Dreams Away". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-11-03.

External links[edit]