William Blinn
William Frederick Blinn[1]

(1937-07-21)July 21, 1937
DiedOctober 22, 2020(2020-10-22) (aged 83)
Burbank, California, United States
OccupationScreenwriter, television producer

William Frederick Blinn[1] (July 21, 1937 – October 22, 2020) was an American screenwriter and television producer.

Life and career

Blinn was born in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Clare Allen and Pearl Ariel (Schaeffer) Blinn.[2] Blinn began his career in television in the 1960s. As a screenwriter, Blinn wrote episodes of Rawhide, Gunsmoke, The Rookies, Here Come the Brides and Shane (where he was also story editor),[3] and Fame (where he also served as executive producer).[4] In 1971, Blinn wrote the screenplay for the television movie Brian's Song for which he won an Emmy and Peabody Award. He won a second Emmy in 1977 for his work on the miniseries Roots. Blinn also created two series for producing mogul Aaron Spelling: Starsky & Hutch (Blinn later produced the 2004 film of the same name);[1] and the less-successful Heaven Help Us, which co-starred Ricardo Montalban known for his role in Fantasy Island. He was the executive producer of the 1974 ABC series The New Land, and he created the short-lived 1977 CBS espionage series Hunter and wrote its unaired 1976 pilot. He was also a writer for the 1996 Hallmark Television film The Boys Next Door based on the play of the same name. His other series were Eight is Enough, Our House and Fame.

In addition to screenwriting (which includes Purple Rain), Blinn also produced several television series and television movies including Aaron's Way, Polly: Comin' Home!, and Pensacola: Wings of Gold.[1]


Blinn died on October 22, 2020, from natural causes at a retirement home in Burbank, California.[5]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Film or series
1972 Emmy Award Won Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama - Adaptation Brian's Song
1977 Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series Roots (Shared with Ernest Kinoy)
1982 Nominated Outstanding Drama Series Fame (Shared with Gerald I. Isenberg, Stan Rogow, and Mel Swope)
1983 Outstanding Drama Series Fame (Shared with Mel Swope)
1984 Outstanding Drama Series Fame (Shared with Ken Ehrlich)
1977 Humanitas Prize Won 60 Minute Category Roots (Shared with James Lee for episode #4)
1996 Nominated 90 Minute Category The Boys Next Door
1972 Peabody Awards Won
Brian's Song
1997 Writers Guild of America Award Adapted Long Form The Boys Next Door


  1. ^ a b c d "William Blinn Biography (1937-)". filmreference.com. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
  2. ^ "Blinn, William 1937– | Encyclopedia.com".
  3. ^ Jonathan Etter (2009). Gangway, Lord! (The) Here Come the Brides Book. BearManor Media. p. 642. ISBN 978-1593935061.
  4. ^ Blinn, William (April 20, 2001). "If Hollywood Takes the Credit, It Must Also Share the Blame". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
  5. ^ Baysinger, Tim (2020-10-24). "William Blinn, 'Starsky & Hutch' Creator and 'Purple Rain' Writer, Dies at 83". TheWrap. Retrieved 2020-10-25.