The “Oz” producer and co-executive producer of “The Killing” leaves behind his wife, KTTV weather anchor Maria Quiban
Sean David Gerard Whitesell, a noted TV writer/producer who was also the brother of WME co-CEO Patrick Whitesell, died on Dec. 28 in Los Angeles at the age of 52 following a long battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife, KTTV weather anchor Maria Quiban Whitesell, and their son, Gus.
Sean Whitesell was born on March 11, 1963 in Iowa Falls, Iowa to John and Patricia Whitesell as the fifth of six sons. Long before he began writing, Sean developed a fierce love of sports, especially basketball, and played with great determination and skill at Iowa Falls High School before attending and graduating from the University of Northern Iowa.
Sean went on to get his MFA from the University of California, San Diego, and before embarking on a career as a writer, he started out as an actor, appearing as a recurring character on “Oz,” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.” He also guest starred on a number of other television shows and appeared in the movie “And The Band Played On.”
Sean later turned to writing and enjoyed great success as a producer and co-executive producer on a number of shows, including “Oz,” “Cold Case,” “The Black Donnellys,” “Perception” and “The Killing,” for which he was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Award earlier this year. In addition, he wrote and directed a number of short films, the latest being “Eddie and The Aviator” earlier this year.
In addition to his writing, Sean had many passions as well as a tremendous sense of humor and deep love and affection for his family, especially his wife and son.
Sean was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme in June 2014, and faced his disease with the same strength of will and character that he employed with his writing and in his life. He began his last project, “Eddie and The Aviator,” after he was diagnosed and completed the film this summer despite difficulties caused by his illness. Sean was able to enjoy much of his final year of life in the company of family and friends.
Sean is survived by his wife and child as well as by his parents and his brothers, John II (Jolie), Christopher, Thomas (Susan), James (Constance) and Patrick (Lauren) Whitesell, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass celebrating Sean’s life will be held at Saint Paul The Apostle Catholic Church at 10750 Ohio Street, Los Angeles, California at 10:15 AM on Jan. 2, 2016. It will be followed by a reception at the home of John and Jolie Whitesell.
Please send any donations in his name to the UCLA Brain Cancer Research Fund.