David Jacobs, Creator Of “Dallas” & “Knots Landing,” Dies At Age 84
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David Jacobs, Known As The Creator Behind Iconic Soap Operas Dallas And Knots Landing, Has Died
It’s a sad day in the TV world, as David Jacobs, the man behind two of the most popular soap operas in history, has died.
Jacobs was born in Baltimore, Maryland on August 12, 1939. He struggled through high school, but eventually attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. Jacobs started off pursuing his passion for painting.
Though Jacobs soon discovered he’d be better off choosing a different career path. He switched to focus on writing, which he always enjoyed.
Jacobs went on to earn a Master’s degree in art history at Hunter College in New York. He published his first book in 1968, titled Master Painters of the Renaissance. Through the years, he wrote for publications such as Esquire, Holiday and The New York Times Magazine, His second book Chaplin, the Movies & Charlie, was published in 1975.
How Jacobs Starting Writing For TV
After Jacobs and his first wife Lynn Oliansky divorced, she moved out to Los Angeles. She eventually married John Pleshette, who starred in Knots Landing.
Jacobs followed his ex out to California so he could be closer to their daughter. It turns out his experience as a writer for magazines transferred well to writing for television.
His first break came in 1977 when Oliansky helped Jacobs secure work on a rewrite for the CBS series The Blue Knight. Afterward, Jacobs worked on the show Family as a story editor.
Then came Dallas. After seeing Jacobs’ initial writings for the series, CBS ordered a script right away. Then, they ordered four additional scripts. Just six weeks after Jacobs wrote the pilot, CBS started filming the series.
Dallas landed a spot on CBS’ primetime lineup. It ran for 14 seasons and 357 episodes.
Jacobs stepped back from Dallas after Season 2, though not completely. He remained a creative consultant on the series during its run.
He turned his focus to the spinoff series Knots Landing, which he also created for CBS. Like its predecessor, Knots Landing ran for 14 seasons. Jacobs was more involved with Knots Landing throughout its time on the air.
How Did David Jacobs Die?
Jacobs’ son, Aaron, told The Hollywood Reporter his father died on Sunday (August 20) at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. Jacobs battled Alzheimer’s disease, and his death was caused by “complications from a series of infections.”
The great TV show creator and writer was 84 years old.
Jacobs is survived by his wife, Diana; his children, Aaron, Albyn, and Molly; and his grandchildren Riley and Georgia. We’ll be keeping all of them in our prayers.