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‘Knight Rider’ and ‘Magnum P.I.’ Producer Joel Rogosin Dies of Coronavirus at MPTF Nursing Facility

Rogosin is the fifth person to die from COVID-19 complications at Woodland Hills nursing home

The Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF) announced on Wednesday that television producer Joel Rogosin, died Tuesday from coronavirus at the organization’s nursing facility in Woodland Hills. Rogosin was 87 years old.

Rogosin is the fifth person to die from COVID-19 complications at Woodland Hills nursing home.

Joel’s first job in the industry in 1957 was as a messenger at Columbia Pictures. By 1961, he was producing the #1 show on television, “77 Sunset Strip.” Joel shared with friends at MPTF that beyond the 23 prime time series he had produced, the television movies, and specials, the highlights of his career were the two Jerry Lewis telethons he produced. He never felt more alive than when he was doing something good for others.

“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?'” said MPTF President & CEO Bob Beitcher in a statement to TheWrap. “That’s what happened to me when I first met Joel Rogosin on the Motion Picture campus right around this time in 2013. 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 3 networks and nothing else they were the backbone of the tv industry,” added Beitcher. Joel was nominated for 3 Primetime Emmy awards for his work on “Magnum P.I.” and “Ironside.” At the MPTF, Joel was a pioneer member of the Grey Quill Society, a group of residents who meet every week in a workshop setting to share memoir, poetry, fiction, and drama. Joel was instrumental on getting the name changed for the MPTF’s long-term care unit which became the Mary Pickford House, with a wonderful opening ceremony with representatives of the Mary Pickford Foundation and special recognition for Joel.

Joel is survived by his wife Deborah and their 3 daughters, 5 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.

Actor Allen Garfield, 80, John Breier, 64, the husband of a longtime IATSE member, Disney Animator Ann Sullivan, 91, died at the MPTF facility in April. Like many other nursing homes, the coronavirus outbreak has hit MPTF hard, as 13 other residents have tested positive for the virus, with 10 currently being treated in isolation units. Eight caretakers have also tested positive.

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