Monday, August 21, 2017

8/21/1916 Jackson Gillis is born

August 21, 1916.  One of the great writers of TV crime was born on this date in Kalama, Washington.  In 1953 Jackson Gillis became the main writer for a syndicated cop show called I'm The Law, starring George Raft.  In the years that followed he wrote for Perry Mason, Mannix, Mod Squad, Cannon, Ironside, The Man From Uncle, Hawaii Five-O, and tons of other series.

He was also a key figure in Columbo, with a hand in at least fifteen episodes.  His first script there was "Framed For Murder" with Ross Martin as the guest murderer, and some of us fondly remember that one for the cleverest clue and the most audacious "reveal" in the whole series.  He was nominated for an Emmy for it, losing to his bosses, the show's creators Levinson and Link.

His last script was for Lois and Clark, based on a story he wrote for The Adventures of Superman forty-years earlier.

Most of this information comes from an excellent article by Michael Mallory in a recent issue (#149) of Mystery Scene magazine.

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