Fifty years after the opening of his first movie, TV writer Edward J. Lasko died of complications from Parkinson’s disease in his Beverly Hills home on May 23. A contributor to hits from the ‘70s such as “Charlie’s Angels” and “Mission: Impossible,” he was 76.
A Korean War veteran, Lasko began his career with the war-based “Operation Dames,” a 1959 feature film about USO entertainers caught behind enemy lines — which he wrote while still a student at UCLA. Following that, he wrote episodes for a variety of TV shows, including “Star Trek,” "Combat!," "The Rockford Files," "Adventures in Paradise," "The Fall Guy," "Airwolf," "Starsky and Hutch," "Barnaby Jones, "Hawaii Five-O," "Mannix" and "My Three Sons."
He was most closely associated, though, with with “Charlie’s Angels.” In addition to writing 25 episodes of that series, he produced 28 and composed music for two more.
Given his early cinematic roots, Lasko often returned to write feature films, earning credits for “Brother on the Run,” “Gentle Giant,” “The Broken Land” and “Womanhunt.”
Lasko, who also worked as a director, lyricist and composer, is survived by his wife, two daughters, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a sister and two brothers.