Michael Gleason, the television producer and writer who co-created the 1980s detective show Remington Steele and helped launch Pierce Brosnan to stardom, died Oct. 21 in Santa Monica, California, at age 78. His publicist Judith A. Moose confirmed the news to EW.
Gleason created Remington Steele with Robert Butler, and the series ran from 1982 to 1987 on NBC. It starred Brosnan as an ex-thief who teams up with a private detective (Stephanie Zimbalist) by assuming the identity of the fictional male boss she invented to drum up business.
The show’s original concept called for “Mr. Steele” to be nothing more than innuendo, and it was Gleason’s idea for the character to come to life. Brosnan, relatively unknown before Remington Steele, would go on to become a major star and play James Bond in four movies.
Gleason was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Hollywood in the early 1960s. His other TV credits included Rawhide, Peyton Place, Murphy’s Law, Sword of Justice, Diagnosis Murder, Police Academy: The Series, and Charmed. He was nominated for two Primetime Emmys, for his work on the police drama McCloud, and also published a crime novel, Working Dirty, in 2013.
A statement provided by Moose said, “A prolific storyteller through and through, Gleason was a dedicated father, brother, husband, and friend who never failed to show the people close to him just how much he loved them.”
This post has been updated with additional details.