Michael Gleason Has Passed Away

Valerie, me and Michael on my wedding day ... 26 years ago.
Valerie, me and Michael on my wedding day … 26 years ago.

I am truly, deeply heartbroken to learn that Michael Gleason, co-creator of REMINGTON STEELE, passed away tonight. I can’t really collect my thoughts right now to express how much he meant to me…it’s not easy to type with tears in my eyes. He and Ernie Wallengren, who died way too young, were my mentors in the television business…and in so many other ways. I am the writer I am today largely because of Michael. And in some ways I am the man I am today because of him. He taught me about the business and, perhaps more importantly how to survive in it. He gave me my first staff writing job on a TV series. He brought me into the editing room and taught me how to cut a show, letting me look over his shoulder for hours, days, weeks. Not because he had to,, but because he was a natural teacher, a professor of television. Michael wasn’t a perfect person, he had his demons, and he knew that — and he often used his own mistakes, personal and professional, as hard life lessons for me. He was full of love and enthusiasm and boundless energy. Nobody. NOBODY, told a story like Michael Gleason. The stories were wonderful, but the real pleasure for me was the obvious joy he took in the telling them. He taught me so much, not just about writing and storytelling…but also how to *be* a writer, how to *be* a producer, and how to treat the people I worked with. I’ve tried to pay it forward, to follow his example, with the “new writers” I’ve worked with, to do for them what he did for me. Every time I pitch a story… hell, every time I *tell* a story, I hear Michael in my ear. I know that I always will. 

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