By Burt Kearns
Fellow Writers, we have a martyr. Mel Tolkin, the head of Sid Caesar’s celebrated television writing team, died today at his home in Century City, at 94, in this fourth week of the writers strike. It was on November 11th, five days into the strike, that we members of the Writers Guild of America – more than 4,000 strong – gathered for the biggest rally in WGA history in front of the Fox building on Avenue of the Stars in Century City, closing down the street between Pico and Santa Monica Boulevards.
On that day, on which speakers included Norman Lear, creator of the WGA series “All In The Family” – of which many episodes were written by Mel Tolkin – we offered an olive branch to the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.
Tonight, we mourn the passing of one our most distinguished and respected members. And can you believe his son is Michael Tolkin, who wrote The Player and directed The Rapture?
(Mel Tolkin also wrote for the great TV series, Run Buddy Run, starring LA jazzman Jack Sheldon.)
From Tabloid Baby. Reprinted by permission.