Joel Rogosin, 'Knight Rider' and 'Magnum, P.I.' Producer, Dead at 87 After Contracting Coronavirus at Nursing Home

Emmy-nominated writer and producer Joel Rogosin has died of complications from the coronavirus. Known for his work on shows such as Magnum, P.I. and Knight Rider, Rogosin died Tuesday at the Motion Picture & Television Fund's Country House and Hospital at the age of 87, Deadline reports. His death marked the fifth coronavirus-related death to occur at the facility, the MPTF said.

Rogosin got his start in the industry in 1957 as a messenger at Columbia Pictures, and by 1961 he was producing ABC's 77 Sunset Strip, the No. 1 show on television at the time. His other credits include Hawaiian Eye, Surfside 6, The Blue Knight, The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, The New Lassie, and a pair of Jerry Lewis telethons. He received his first two Emmy nominations in 1970 and '71 for producing Ironside, with his third nomination coming in 1983 for his work on Magnum, P.I. With a decades-long career, his death has hit the industry hard, with many paying tribute.

"Joel's era demanded a man knew how to work with every person in the process, and by doing so, became partner in the endeavor with them rather than simply their boss," TV producer Peter Dunne said. "One of the great benefits of hiring Joel… his crews loved him, would follow him, and bust their asses to get it done right for him. Bottom line: Joel was more than a writer and producer. He was a mentor, a big brother, and the ultimate filmmaker."

Reacting to his death, Bob Mirisch, one of Rogosin's friends on the MPTF campus where Rogosin was a pioneer of the Grey Quill Society, said that he would remember the late producer for "his love of family, his love of life, his warmth and comradeship, and his many, many kindnesses to me."

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"If you're a Baby Boomer like me, maybe even from the Greatest Generation, and watched a lot of TV in the '60s, '70s, and '80s, you’d hear this name and think to yourself, 'Gee, that sounds familiar? Where do I know it from?' That's what happened to me when I first met Joel Rogosin on the Motion Picture campus right around this time in 2013," Bob Beitcher, MPTF president and CEO, said. "Well, you might have known his name from The Virginian and 77 Sunset Strip in the '60s, or Ironsides and The Blue Knight in the '70s, or Magnum, P.I. and Knight Rider in the '80s, where you would have seen a writer and producer credit for Joel Rogosin at the end of an episode. They didn’t call them showrunners back then, but back in the days of three networks and nothing else they were the backbone of the TV industry."

Rogosin is survived by his wife Deborah, their three daughters, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Remembering her husband, Deborah recalled that "the only time I got really mad at him is when he threw me into the pool, dressed with high heels, in front of our 50 guests on a warm spring day." She added that "the pool was freezing."