William Blinn, ‘Starsky & Hutch’ Creator and ‘Purple Rain’ Writer, Dies at 83

Blinn also wrote TV projects “Roots” and “Brian’s Song”

William Blinn

William Blinn, a longtime writer responsible for “Purple Rain” and “Starsky & Hutch,” died on Thursday. He was 83.

Blinn passed away due to natural causes at an assisted living facility in Burbank, his daughter, Anneliese Johnson, told multiple media outlets.

Blinn enjoyed a four-decade career where, along with penning the script for the Prince-starring film, he also served as a writer for TV productions including “Roots,” “Bonanza” and “Fame.” In the 1970s, Blinn adapted Chicago Bears’ running back Gale Sayers’ autobiography, “I Am Third” into the ABC TV film, “Brian’s Song.” Based on the relationship between Sayers and his Bears teammate, Brian Piccolo, it is the fourth most-watched made-for-TV film. “Brian’s Song” earned Blinn one of his two Emmy awards.

In 1975, Blinn created “Starsky & Hutch,” which ran for 93 episodes over four seasons on ABC. It was originally presented as a 70-minute “movie of the week” before being turned into a TV show. It starred David Soul and Paul Michael Glasar as detectives Kenneth Richard “Hutch” Hutchinson and David Michael Starsky. Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller played the roles of “Hutch” and Starsky in a 2004 film reboot.

“Purple Rain” is Blinn’s only feature writing credit, which he co-wrote with director Albert Magnoli. The 1984 rock musical starred Prince in a semi-autobiographical role as The Kid. It is considered among the greatest musical films.

In addition to his daughter, Blinn is survived by his son, Chris, and his grandchildren, Mackenzie, Eden, Zachary and Zoe.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.