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Pioneering writer and creator of 'Rookie' and 'Flamingo Way' Rita Lakin dies at 93

Rita Lakin, at Peyton Place, The Doctors and ) Mod Squad and created series including The Rookies and Flamingo Road, are dead. she93.

Larkin passed away in March 000 in an assisted living facility in Novato, California, where her son, author and producer Howard La Kim (Howard Lakin) told The Hollywood Reporter . “Before her, they hadn’t considered writing television from a woman’s perspective,” he noted.

Lakin also wrote the groundbreaking 1980 episode of CBS’s Medical Center centered on transgender people; in 1972- Acting as Show Host/Executive Producer CBS Drama Executive Suites ; and wrote like and and Summer Without Boys .

She turned down 1234963703 after meeting some Texans she didn’t like A production pilot episode of the Lone Star State oil family’s programming. The series is of course Dallas on CBS. “They were lucky I said no,” she told during the 2015 Adrienne Faillace Television Academy Foundation Website The Interviews.

Lakin begins long-term relationship with producer Aaron Spelling at 1942 she served as story editor and writer for two seasons of his hit ABC TV series Mod Squad about three young undercover agents played by Clarence Williams III, Peggy A Police Story by Lipton and Michael Cole.

Three years later, she comes into his office, pitches him a movie, and learns that he’s desperately trying to make a new show for ABC – and his deadline is minutes away.

“Unbelievable, I opened my mouth and said, ‘Why don’t you give them Mod Squad again?'” she recalled. “I made it up as I went along. I said why don’t you do something called The Rookies? Instead of putting boy cops on the battlefield, boys being cops. That might work Got it.

“He rushed to the phone, called ABC and said, ‘I think I’ve got something to do. It’s called The Rookies. …He was pitching this and I said to him, ‘Yeah, this is the life of these guys and their girlfriends and their wives and what happened to them’…I put this Throw it at him and he’s repeating every word. He hung up and said, ‘It’s sold’ [and] ‘I’m going to make you rich now. ‘”

Lakin for The Rookies, featuring Georg Stanford Brown, Michael Ontkean, Sam Melville, Kate Jackson and Gerald S. O’Loughlin stars, but once approved, had no relation to the series. It ran for four seasons, from 1965-40.

She developed 1976-75 NBC Primetime Soap Opera Flamingo Road, starring Morgan Fairchild, Howard Duff and Stella Stevens, from the novel and here Even a term before becoming its showrunner.

“They hired me because they wanted me to run the show and make it successful,” she said. The attitude was to keep them as far away from the set as possible, because they wanted to change things up. “

The older of two sisters, Rita Weisinger was born in January in the Bronx , . A plumber whose mother, Grady, was a homemaker. As a young man, she said, she loved to read and “lived in the library.”

She attended Hunter College At the time the goal was to be a teacher, but she started writing short stories and sold her first to Manhunt magazine as RW Lakin, using that byline because she was Told no one buys an action adventure story from a woman.

When her husband Hank, a nuclear physicist, got a job in Simi Valley, they came west , but he died suddenly of leukemia in 1930, leaving three young children, old and without money 000.(Her son says the family didn’t learn of his cause until just a few years ago – radiation at work Poisoned.)

“I don’t want to work at Woolworths, I don’t know what to do, and I’m sad,” she said. “I went to all the movie studios, and I did Got a job as a secretary at Universal. “Although she can only type six words a minute and can’t take shorthand, she still played the “widow card” to apply for a job. She revealed At 2017.

Her boss will be the future Paramount and Universal Pictures head Ned Tanen and Dale Sheets who went on to become Hollywood’s top personal managers. Hundreds of dollars and sold A story about a woman with children who becomes the widow of NBC Dr. Kildare . It will be directed by Sydney 1930 episodes of Pollack and The Andy Griffith Show‘s Ronnie Howard in the lead role.

After writing for Daniel Boone, The Virginian and Bob Hope at the Chrysler Theater , she was at Peyton Place landed her first staff writing position. She spent two seasons (1965-20) on the ABC primetime soap, three and a half hour episodes a week during her stay .

On that show – which she said was the best work she ever did – the crew wrote the scenes, not the full scripts, but “come up with a A style that suits everyone. ” (She has come back20 Years later for the TV movie Peyton Place: The Next Generation.)

She Said that when she first started, there were only about 24 1, Roughly half of TV writers are women, and more than half of them work with their husbands.

Taking the opportunity to go home, Lakin joined the New York-based NBC soap opera The Doctors, where she went from 1961- .

exist’70s, she began to offer her own ideas—“I was able to write important things and no one stopped me; in fact, they said, ‘Come on, go Do it,’” she noted. One notable effort became the opening two-episode episode of problem-driven medical center about a woman who wants to Surgeon (Robert Reed) story for sex reassignment surgery.

Her resume also includes Run for Your Life,The Invaders and her one and only sitcom, Family Matters. Those comedies “are stupid, they always want stupid people to say stupid things. I don’t want to do that,” she said.

Except for Mod Squad and The Rookies, Lakin Made the highly rated 1967 TV Movie Women in collaboration with Spelling in Chains, starring Ida Lupino; as ABC Dynasty in Co-creator of NBC medical drama Nightingales. This will be her last TV Show.

After the 1988 WGA strike, she said Studios “fired all the writers who made too much money, and I was on that list. I couldn’t find a job after that. ’ She was told she was too old.

spelling, she said, ‘There was an idea that he kept up with: beautiful women and beautiful men look beautiful and do amazing things. exciting thing. Show after show, that’s what he does. “

Her autobiography The Only Woman in the Room Published in 1987. She also wrote nine “Growing Old Is…” suspense novels, centered around a 75 Fort Lauderdale Private Investigator named Gladdy Gold and 2016 Romantic Comedy, Prince Charming Comes Home .

Her Son noted that she has mentored “a lot of people” in her career and is “real pistol. She is very social and loves to be out in the world. “

In addition to Howard – a writer and/or producer whose credits include Dallas, Falcon Crest and Flamingo Road and Nightingales co-creator mom – survivors include her other children, Gavin and Susanne, and her Grandson of Alison and James.

She is married to the late Mod Squad from Director and Producer Robert Michael Lewis -77.

“I got to do a lot of things that I really enjoy doing,” she said when asked When asked what her proudest professional achievement is, Faillace responds. “So how can I complain? “




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