David Davis
Born(1936-08-05)August 5, 1936
DiedNovember 4, 2022(2022-11-04) (aged 86)
Alma materUniversity of California
Occupation(s)Television producer, television writer
Years active1962–1994
Notable workThe Bob Newhart Show
Joann Leeson
(div. 1972)
PartnerJulie Kavner (1976–2022)

David Davis (August 5, 1936 – November 4, 2022) was an American television producer and television writer. He co-created the sitcoms The Bob Newhart Show (with Lorenzo Music) and Taxi (with James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, and Ed. Weinberger). He also wrote, produced, and developed the sitcom Rhoda, co-starring his partner Julie Kavner. He also wrote and produced The Mary Tyler Moore Show, off of which Rhoda was spun.[1] In 1979, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for his producing work on Taxi.[2]

Personal life and death

Davis was born in Brooklyn on August 5, 1936. His father, Phil Davis, was a writer for the game shows Truth or Consequences and This Is Your Life. He moved to Los Angeles during his childhood, and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he studied film.[3]

Davis had two daughters, Samantha and Abigail,[1] from his marriage to Joann Leeson, which ended in divorce in 1972.[3] Davis was in a relationship with actress Julie Kavner from 1976 until his death. They met on the set of Rhoda, a series in which Kavner co-starred.[4][5] At the time of his death, it was reported that Kavner was his wife.[3][1] In his tribute to Davis on Twitter, James L. Brooks also stated that Davis and Kavner were married.[6]

Davis died in Los Angeles on November 4, 2022, at the age of 86.[1][7]



Television series writing credits
Series Episode Air date
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre "The Timothy Heist" October 30, 1964 (1964-10-30)
Love, American Style "Love and Who" October 20, 1969 (1969-10-20)
"Love and the Millionaires" March 13, 1970 (1970-03-13)
"Love and the Trip" November 13, 1970 (1970-11-13)
"Love and the Pen Pals" November 27, 1970 (1970-11-27)
The Mary Tyler Moore Show "The Snow Must Go On" November 7, 1970 (1970-11-07)
"1040 or Fight" November 28, 1970 (1970-11-28)
"The Boss Isn't Coming to Dinner" February 13, 1971 (1971-02-13)
"I Am Curious-Cooper" September 25, 1971 (1971-09-25)
"A Girl's Best Mother Is Not Her Friend" October 16, 1971 (1971-10-16)
"Don't Break the Chain" November 20, 1971 (1971-11-20)
"Ted Over Heels" December 18, 1971 (1971-12-18)
The Bob Newhart Show "Fly the Unfriendly Skies" September 16, 1972 (1972-09-16)
"Tennis, Emily?" September 30, 1972 (1972-09-30)
"P-I-L-O-T" November 18, 1972 (1972-11-18)
"His Busiest Season" December 23, 1972 (1972-12-23)
"A Home Is Not Necessarily a House" February 10, 1973 (1973-02-10)
Rhoda "Joe" September 9, 1974 (1974-09-09)
"Rhoda's Wedding" October 28, 1974 (1974-10-28)
Taxi "Like Father, Like Daughter" September 12, 1978 (1978-09-12)



  1. ^ a b c d Barnes, Mike (5 November 2022). "David Davis, Writer-Producer on 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' 'Rhoda,' 'The Bob Newhart Show' and 'Taxi,' Dies at 86". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  2. ^ "Primetime Emmy® Award Database". Emmys.com. Retrieved 2013-03-08.
  3. ^ a b c Green, Penelope (13 November 2022). "David Davis, a Force Behind Game-Changing '70s Sitcoms, Dies at 86". The New York Times. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  4. ^ Golden, Daniel (1991-06-30). "From sitcoms to films, Kavner is true to her characters". Boston Globe.
  5. ^ Salem, Rob (2009-04-21). "Kavner's long and winding Rhoda". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  6. ^ Brooks, James L. (November 6, 2022). "So he retired at a really young age, He loved and married Julie Kavner and then they lived their lives deliciously; seasons split between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and a lake in Michigan. He was a great and cool father to Samantha and Abby, granddad to their kids". Twitter. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  7. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (5 November 2022). "David Davis, Comedy Writer Who Co-Created 'Bob Newhart Show' and 'Taxi,' Dies at 86". Variety. Retrieved November 5, 2022.