Glen A Larson: Musician and TV producer who made such hit series as ‘Magnum’, ‘Knight Rider’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’

As well as producing, he also wrote the theme tunes to some of his series

Shannon Baxter
Sunday 16 November 2014 17:49
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Larson in 2010: as well as producing, he also wrote the theme tunes to some of his series
Larson in 2010: as well as producing, he also wrote the theme tunes to some of his series

Glen A Larson was a writer and producer behind well-loved television series such as the original Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider, Magnum and Quincy.

Larson, also an accomplished singer and composer, was a powerhouse in the television landscape in the 1970s and ’80s, when he churned out hits that became staples in millions of living rooms.

He also co-composed the theme songs for some of his hits, including the frequently sampled tune from Knight Rider and the orchestral music behind Battlestar Galactica. He was nominated three times for an Emmy, once for a Grammy for the original score of Battlestar Galactica, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1985.

He was born in 1937 to a Swedish immigrant mother and a Swedish-American father in Long Beach, California. In 1956 he joined a vocal group called The Four Preps and won three gold records. He helped write and compose some of their hits, including “26 Miles (Santa Catalina)”, “Big Man” and “Down By The Station”.

But it was television where he made a lasting mark. His first writing credit came in 1966 on an episode of The Fugitive, and by 1968 he had worked his way up to be an associate producer on the series It Takes A Thief and quickly rose through the ranks to produce some of the biggest shows of the time. At one point, he had five shows airing at once.

A list of nearly four dozen television credits also includes The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, BJ And The Bear, The Fall Guy and the TV film of The Six Million Dollar Man.

Glen Albert Larson, television writer and producer: born Long Beach, California 3 January 1937; twice married (nine children); died Los Angeles 14 November 2014.

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