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Martin Cohan

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Martin Cohan

Martin Paul "Marty" Cohan [1] (July 4, 1932 – May 19, 2010) was an American television producer and writer. Cohan co-created the sitcom, Who's the Boss?, which aired on ABC from 1984 until 1992, with business partner, Blake Hunter.[2] Cohan is also credited with creating Silver Spoons,[3] which ran on NBC from 1982 to 1987 and launched the career of actor Rick Schroder.[3]


Early life

Cohan was born in San Francisco, California, on July 4, 1932. He was also a descendant of the Biblical Aaron and a Conservative Jew.[2][4][5][6] He received a bachelor's degree in theater arts from Stanford University in 1955.[2]


Cohan began working as a stage manager and assistant director at the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) following his graduation from Stanford University.[2][3] He worked in film and documentaries during this stage in his career, including for director Mike Nichols in the 1970 film, Catch-22.[3] Cohan created a documentary called The Children of Paris before taking a position in a documentary firm owned by David L. Wolper.[3] Cohan's work as a writer and researcher for the documentaries, Hollywood and the Stars in 1963 and Let My People Go: The Story of Israel in 1965 also led to a job working in Univerisal Television's documentary department.[3]

Cohan transitioned to writing for sitcoms, including All in the Family and the Odd Couple, during the 1970s.[3] In 1971, Cohan achieved professional recognition as an assistant director on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.[2] He was awarded the best comedy episode award from the Writers Guild of America for his screenwriting on the show in 1972.[2] Cohan was also the recipient of an NAACP award for furthering interracial understanding during the 1970s.[3] After leaving The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cohan directed, produced, and wrote for The Bob Newhart Show[2] and was co-producer of The Ted Knight Show.

In the early 1980s, Cohan co-created Who's the Boss? with business partner, Blake Hunter.[2][3] The successful sitcom, starring Tony Danza, Judith Light, Alyssa Milano, Danny Pintauro and Katherine Helmond, ran from 1984 to 1992. Cohan's sister actress Rhoda Gemignani[7] also had a recurring role as Mrs. Rossini on the show. Cohan and Hunter also worked as creative consultants for the British television series, The Upper Hand.[2] The Upper Hand, a British television adaptation of Who's the Boss?, debuted in 1990 and aired for seven seasons on ITV.[2]

Cohan also penned scripts for episodes of numerous other television shows, including Silver Spoons and Diff'rent Strokes.

Martin Cohan died at his home in Pacific Palisades, California, of large-cell lymphoma on May 19, 2010, at the age of 77.[2] He was survived by his wife, Dawn, a son, a daughter, two stepchildren, a step-grandson, and a sister.[3] His memorial service was held at Mt. Sinai's Chapel Tenach in Forest Lawn.[3]

Cohan's longtime business partner, Blake Hunter, was quoted in Variety: "Marty is the brother I wish I had, the talent I stood in awe of, and the friend I can never replace."[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Passings: Martin Cohan, co-creator of 'Who's the Boss?' and a prolific TV writer and producer, dies at 77; David Durston, a writer and director of 1970s cult horror films, dies at 88".  
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Dore, Shalini (2010-05-20). "Sitcom scribe Martin Cohan dies: Creator of 'Silver Spoons,' 'Who's the Boss?" was 77".  
  4. ^
  5. ^["All are welcome to attend his services and burial, which will be held next Thursday May 27 at 2pm at the large temple at Mount Sinai at 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068."]
  6. ^[The picture shows Cohan with one of his children observing a religious ceremony.]
  7. ^

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