The Friday, Dec. 6 episode of Blue Bloods paid special tribute to late producer Leonard Goldberg following his Wednesday, Dec. 4, death at the age of 85. Towards the end of the episode, following the cast’s traditional dinner table scene, an end card appeared on the screen reading, “In loving memory of our founder and mentor Leonard Goldberg,” according to Deadline. The end card was followed by the end credits, the first of which was for Goldberg as the series’ executive producer.
The moment was applauded by viewers, who called it a “touching tribute” to the late producer who has been described as a main driver behind the series and is also credited with making the family dinner an end-of-episode staple.
According to a statement from his family, Goldberg passed away on Dec. 4 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from injuries suffered in a fall. He was 85 and surrounded by loved ones at the time of his death.
The touching tribute to Leonard Goldberg may he Rest in Peace! #Jamko finding their way through this crazy thing called life together! & Family dinner! #BlueBloods #Jamko #TheReagans https://t.co/2igQWDKvW1— Leigh (@Auroraleigh13) December 7, 2019
After news of his death broke, many of those who star on the CBS series, as well as those who had known Goldberg throughout his career, took to social media to pay their respects.
“Ten years ago I took a chance meeting with a TV icon, Mr Leonard Goldberg,” Donnie Wahlberg, who plays Danny Reagan, wrote on Instagram. “He convinced me that I could play the son of another TV icon, Mr Tom Selleck — in Blue Bloods. 10 years, and over 200 family dinner scenes later (Mr Goldberg’s idea of course), and I’m still working my tail off every single day, hoping to live up to Mr Goldbergs faith in me…We lost a TV Giant today, and I lost a friend.”
Abigail Hawk, who plays Abigail Baker, simply wrote, "Rest in peace, Leonard."
“Oh man... Leonard Goldberg loved actors and signed off on my second acting job: Blue Bloods," Hank Chen, who starred in an episode in 2011, tweeted. "That was the fourth episode I has auditioned for that season and he was in the room every time, greeting actors, watching us work. A true legend."
A giant in the film and television industry, Goldberg is credited with developing the "made-for-TV movie" format, and in 1984, he won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special for Something About Amelia. Along with many other credits, he was an executive producer on Blue Bloods and served on the CBS board of directors from 2007 until 2018.