David Davis
David Davis

(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, which Rhoda was a spinoff of.[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 Kavner co-starred.[4][5] At the time of his death, it was reported that Kavner was in fact his wife.[3][1] In his tribute to Davis on his Twitter account, James L. Brooks also claimed that Davis and Kavner were in fact married.[6]

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


  1. ^ a b c d Barnes, Mike. "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. "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. "David Davis, Comedy Writer Who Co-Created 'Bob Newhart Show' and 'Taxi,' Dies at 86". Variety. Retrieved November 5, 2022.