I learned this morning from members of his family that my old frenemy Glen Larson, creator of dozens of classic television series, bon vivant, and, in the words of one of my agents, “evil genius,” died yesterday.
Glen was a complex and, to those of us who spent a lot of time with him, fascinating man. Multi-talented in the true sense of the word, he was a member of the Big Deal early ’60s pop singing group The Four Preps who turned from singing to writing and became the creator (or co-creator), writer-producer of more long-running hit shows than anyone else in the world, before, during or since. We’re talking Alias Smith and Jones, Switch, Quincy, M.E., The Hardy Boys Mysteries, Battlestar Galactica, B. J. and the Bear, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, Magnum, P.I., The Fall Guy, Knight Rider, Manimal, Automan, and a passel of others.
I worked with Glen on many of those shows, and the experience was colorful, to say the least. In fact, often it was truly mind-gobbling. Glen was a very controversial figure in his prime, punched by James Garner, sued by several others, richer than Croesus and possibly the unhappiest man I’ve ever known.
His death has stirred very strong feelings in me, and when I get them sorted out I’ll try to write more about Glen’s career, and, yes, about the man as I knew him. Now, though, I’m walking around mumbling to myself, feeling the way you do when you realize that your older brother, who both taught and tormented you for so many years, isn’t going to be around any longer to do either. Glen was indeed like a brother to me.
For now, I’m in a kind of “Thanks for all the memories, man! And for all the money! You were the best at what you did, and the worst as well. But I always forgave you, and for what it’s worth, I forgive you still.”
Christ, I hope he’s happier now!