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Hollywood writer/producer Berg dies after fall

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Sep 03, 2009 | 10:00am EDT

A TV and movie writer and producer, Berg died on Tuesday (01Sep09).

Born in New York in 1922, he arrived in Hollywood in the early 1940s and became a dialogue coach for movie cowboy Roy Rogers.

But writing was his first love and many of his early scripts were turned into dramas for the Kraft Television Theatre and Robert Montgomery Presents series in the U.S.

By the late 1950s, Berg was an in-demand writer in Tinseltown and enjoyed careers at leading studios MGM, 20th Century Fox and Universal, where he created detective drama Johnny Staccato starring John Cassavetes.

He moved into TV production in the 1960s at Universal and was the man behind shows like Checkmate and Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, which offered aspiring writers the chance to get their original teleplays aired.

By the end of the 1960s, Berg was producing films like House of Cards and Counterpoint and TV movies and mini-series such as Wallenberg,The Martian Chronicles and Elmore Leonard's Pronto.

A former president of the Hollywood Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Berg was presented with the American Film Institute's Charles Fries Producer of the Year Award in 2000.

Berg also succeeded as a father - his sons are A. Scott Berg, who is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author; Jeff, who is chairman of International Creative Management (ICM) talent agency; Tony, a record producer and executive; and Rick, a manager and producer.

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