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Gary David Goldberg Dead at 68

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | June 24, 2013 |

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | June 24, 2013 |

The name may not be all that familiar to you, but anyone born before in the 1980s or before surely knows the work of Gary David Goldberg, who created the long-running series, “Family Ties” and later reunited with Michael J. Fox to create “Spin City.” Goldberg passed away, dying of brain cancer.

Fans of “Family Ties” and “Spin City” will also undoubtedly be familiar with this three second tag at the end of every episode:

Ubu, in fact, was Goldberg’s production company, named after his own dog. Goldberg, who grew up a flower child in the 1960s, and his wife ran a day care center in Berkeley during the 1970s, and you can sense how that experience likely influenced the culture clashes in the “Family Ties.” (Fun Fact: The series, “One Day at a Time,” was based on the experiences of Whitney Blake, raising her child as a single mother. That child: Meredith Baxter, the star of “Family Ties.”)

Goldberg essentially launched the career of Michael J. Fox with “Family Ties,” although Fox was not his first choice: That was Matthew Broderick. It took some convincing, in fact, for Goldberg to come around on Fox.

Goldberg was also a writer on “Lou Grant” and the “Bob Newhart Show,” as well as writing and directing Dad, a movie starring Ted Danson that has a very profound place in my childhood memories.

Goldberg leaves behind a wife, two daughters (including television writer Shana Goldberg-Meehan), three grandchildren, and years of cherished television episodes.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.