LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Harve Bennett, a noted producer of the “Star Trek” film franchise and a writer-producer on a string of ’80s-era TV hits, has died.
Bennett was 84.
The Chicago-born Bennett got his first taste of show business as one of the famous “Quiz Kids” on the radio show of the same name.
He died Wednesday in Medford, Ore.
Before working in film production, Bennett worked as a TV executive, first for CBS and later for ABC, where he handled the daytime TV division.
After moving to prime time, Bennett worked in drama development and helped launched shows like Aaron Spelling’s breakout “The Mod Squad,” a show he produced from 1968-1973.
He found his true calling working in the sci-fi genre.
Bennett, born Harve Bennett Fischman, made several cameos in the “Star Trek” film franchise, where he worked as a writer, producer and collaborator. After the critically-acclaimed “The Wrath of Khan,” germinated from an idea he helped develop, Bennett produced “The Voyage Home,” “The Search for Spock” and “The Final Frontier.”
Bennett’s TV resume was equally impressive. Most notably, he worked on the hits “Six Million Dollar Man” and the spinoff “The Bionic Woman” as well as the miniseries “Rich Man, Poor Man” and the TV movie “Guilty or Innocent: The Sam Sheppard Murder Case.”
He also produced Golda Meir’s life story, “A Woman Called Golda,” Ingrid Bergman’s final role and a movie that also co-starred “Star Trek” pal Leonard Nimoy, who died last week.
StarTrek.com said Bennett died after a long illness.
In a 2010 interview, StarTrek.com quoted Bennett as explaining how he lured Nimoy back to the “Star Trek” film franchise.
“I finally convinced him with a very simple, actor-proof argument. I said, ‘Leonard, if you come back, I’m going to give you the greatest death scene since Janet Leigh in ‘Psycho.’ One third of the way into the picture, we’re going to kill you. The audience will be shocked. It will be the end of your problems with Spock, and we will go on to complete the story.’ He said, ‘That’s good. I like that,’ ” Bennett said.