Gary David Goldberg
Born(1944-06-25)June 25, 1944
DiedJune 22, 2013(2013-06-22) (aged 68)
Alma materBrandeis University
San Diego State University
  • Writer
  • television producer
  • film producer
Years active1972–2011
SpouseDiana Meehan
Children2, including Shana Goldberg-Meehan

Gary David Goldberg (June 25, 1944 – June 22, 2013) was an American writer and producer for television and film. Goldberg was best known for his work on Family Ties (1982–89), Spin City (1996–2002), and his semi-autobiographical series Brooklyn Bridge (1991–1993).


Gary David Goldberg was born on June 25, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Anne (née Prossman) and George Goldberg, a postal worker. He had an older brother, Stan, who is five years older and a well-known summer camp director.[1] Goldberg grew up in Bensonhurst[2] and attended and graduated from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn. He studied at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and San Diego State University, ultimately deciding to become a writer. In 1969, he met the woman who would become his wife, Diana Meehan. They founded and ran a day care center in Berkeley, California, during the 1970s.[3]


Goldberg began his show business career while living in Israel in 1972, landing the lead role of Scooterman in the English teaching show The Adventures of Scooterman. His first "real job" not in front of the camera[3] came in 1976, when he became a writer for CBS's The Bob Newhart Show. This was followed by The Dumplings, The Tony Randall Show, and later CBS's Lou Grant, for which he was also producer.[3]

In 1982 he formed his own company Ubu Productions (named after his Labrador retriever Ubu Roi, who died in 1984). In 1982 he created Family Ties which ran for seven seasons and was a critical and ratings hit; it helped launch the career of Michael J. Fox. He later produced Brooklyn Bridge and Spin City. In 1989 he produced and directed the feature film with a marquée cast, Dad, starring Jack Lemmon, Ted Danson, and Olympia Dukakis. This film was followed by Bye Bye Love (which he produced but did not direct), starring Matthew Modine, Paul Reiser and Randy Quaid; and Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. He received two Emmy Awards (1979 for Lou Grant, 1987 for Family Ties) and four Writers Guild of America Awards (1979, 1988, 1998, 2010) for his work.[3] He also received the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of excellence and innovation in creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television[4] in 1994 and the Austin Film Festival's Outstanding Television Writer Award in 2001.


This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (July 2019)

Beginning in 2000, Tracy Keenan Wynn and more than 150 television writers over the age of 40 filed 23 class-action lawsuits that charged Hollywood's television industry—networks, studios, talent agencies and production companies—with age discrimination. A prominent industry quote cited in the case came from Gary David Goldberg, who told TV Guide that Spin City had "no writers on the set over the age of 29—by design."[5][6]

On January 6, 2009, the Superior Court of the State of California, for the County of Los Angeles, granted final approval to a consent decree resolving age discrimination claims asserted against defendants International Creative Management, Inc. (ICM) and Broder Kurland Webb Agency (BKW). The consent decree affected a full and final resolution of the class claims, including all individual claims subsumed in the cases. Under the terms of the consent decree, defendants ICM and BKW paid $4.5 million into a settlement fund.[7]

Personal life

Goldberg died of a brain tumor in Montecito, California on June 22, 2013, at the age of 68.[8]

His daughter is comedy writer Shana Goldberg-Meehan.



Year Title Role Note(s)
1989 Dad Writer/Producer/Director
1995 Bye Bye Love Writer/Producer
2005 Must Love Dogs Writer/Producer/Director
2011 No Strings Attached Emma's Relative


Year Title Role Note(s)
1972 The Adventures of Scooterman Scooterman 6 episodes
1976 The Dumplings Writer Episode: "Gourmet's Delight"
Phyllis Episode: "Speech 1A"
1976–1977 The Bob Newhart Show 3 episodes
1976–1978 The Tony Randall Show Producer/Executive Producer/Writer/Story Editor 30 episodes
1977 Alice Writer Episode: "Mel's in Love"
1978–1979 Lou Grant Producer/Executive Producer/Writer/Creative Consultant 41 episodes
1978 M*A*S*H Writer Episode: "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
1979–1980 The Last Resort Creator/Producer/Executive Producer 17 episodes
1982 Making the Grade Executive Producer/Director 2 episodes
1982–1989 Family Ties Creator/Executive Producer 170 episodes
1983 Famous Lines Executive Producer TV special
1985 Sara Creator/Executive Producer 14 episodes
Family Ties Vacation Writer TV movie
1986 Taking It Home Executive Producer
1987–1988 The Bronx Zoo Creator 21 episodes
1988 Shooter Executive Producer TV movie
1988–1989 Day By Day Creator/Executive Producer 33 episodes
1990–1991 American Dreamer 17 episodes
1991–1993 Brooklyn Bridge 75 episodes
1996 Champs Creator 12 episodes
1996–2002 Spin City Creator/Executive Producer/Executive Consultant 145 episodes
2000 Battery Park Creator/Executive Producer 7 episodes



  1. ^ "Gary David Goldberg Biography (1944-)". Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  2. ^ Barnes, Mike. "'Family Ties' Creator Gary David Goldberg Dies at 68". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Gary David Goldberg". Gary David Goldberg. 1944-06-25. Archived from the original on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  4. ^ "Past Recipients". Archived from the original on 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  5. ^ Hollywood to Writers: You're Fired! Source: AARP Bulletin Today | 2005-01-06
  6. ^ "Hollywood writers' age-discrimination case settled". Los Angeles Times. 2010-01-23. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
  7. ^ January 6, 2009: Final Approval Granted to Settlement Spenger and Lang Attorney website
  8. ^ Weber, Bruce (June 24, 2013). "Gary David Goldberg, Creator of 'Family Ties,' Dies at 68". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2023.