Gary David Goldberg

Gary David Goldberg Biography

Gary David Goldberg (June 25, 1944 " June 22, 2013) was an American writer and producer for television and film. Goldberg was best known for his work on Family Ties (1982"89), Spin City (1996"2002), and his semi-autobiographical series Brooklyn Bridge (1991"93).


Gary David Goldberg was born on June 25, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Anne (née Prossman) and George Goldberg, a postal worker. He has an older brother, Stan, who is 5 years older and a well renowned summer camp director. He attended and graduated from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn. He studied at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and San Diego State University, ultimately deciding to become a writer. In 1969, he met the woman who would become his wife, Diana Meehan. They founded and ran a day care center in Berkeley, California, during the 1970s.


Gary started his showbiz career while living in Israel in 1972, landing the lead role of Scooterman in the language teaching show The Adventures of Scooterman. His first "real job" not in front of the camera came in 1976, when he became a writer for CBS' The Bob Newhart Show. This was followed by The Tony Randall Show and later CBS' Lou Grant, for which he was also producer.

In 1981, he formed his own company, Ubu Productions (named after his dog). In 1982, he created Family Ties which ran for seven seasons. It was a critical and ratings hit and continues to be seen to this day in syndication and helped launch the career of Michael J. Fox. The show was based on the experiences he shared with his wife and family of hippie parents raising children in the 1970s. He later produced Brooklyn Bridge and Spin City. In 1989, he produced the feature film with a marquée cast, Dad, starring Jack Lemmon, Ted Danson, and Olympia Dukakis. This film was followed by Bye Bye Love, starring Matthew Modine, Paul Reiser and Randy Quaid; and Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. He received two Emmy awards (1979 for Lou Grant, 1987 for Family Ties) and four Writers Guild of America Awards (1979, 1988, 1998, 2010) for his work. He also received the Women in Film [[Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards#THE LUCY AWARD|Lucy Award]] in recognition of excellence and innovation in creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television in 1994 and the Austin Film Festival's Outstanding Television Writer Award in 2001.


Tracy Keenan Wynn and more than 150 other television writers over age 40 went to court with AARP as their co-counsel in a far-reaching series of 23 class action lawsuits that charge Hollywood's television industry "? networks, studios, talent agencies and production companies "? with age discrimination. The most famous industry quote cited in the case came from Gary David Goldberg, who told TV Guide Magazine his program had "no writers on the set over the age of 29"?by design."

On January 6, 2009, the Superior Court of the State of California, for the County of Los Angeles, granted final approval to a consent decree resolving age discrimination claims asserted against defendants International Creative Management, Inc. (ICM) and Broder Kurland Webb Agency (BKW). The consent decree affected a full and final resolution of the class claims, including all individual claims subsumed in the cases. Under the terms of the consent decree, defendants ICM and BKW paid the sum of four and one-half million dollars ($4,500,000) into a settlement fund.

Personal life

His daughter is the comedy writer Shana Goldberg-Meehan. He died of brain cancer in Montecito, California on June 22, 2013, just three days shy of his 69th birthday.

Further reading

  • Goldberg, Gary David. "Comedy Stop: What Would Alex Keaton Do?." New York Times, March 3, 2008.
  • Goldberg, Gary David. Sit, Ubu, Sit: How I Went from Brooklyn to Hollywood With the Same Woman, the Same Dog, and a Lot Less Hair. Harmony, 2008.

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