Hollywood News

Allan Burns, Emmy-Winning Writer of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’, Dies at 85

Allan Burns, the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated writer who co-wrote and co-created The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died on January 30, his close collaborator James L Brooks confirmed on Twitter.


“Alan Burns, my writing partner during The Mary Tyler Moore days, died yesterday,” Brooks wrote.

“His singular writing career brought him every conceivable recognition. But, you had to know him to appreciate his full rarity. He was simply the finest man I have every known. A beauty of a human,” Brooks wrote.

Burns started his writing career in 1962 as a story editor of Father of the Bride, he went on to co-create The Munsters and My Mother The Car with American television writer Chris Hayward. Burns won his first Emmy in 1968 for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy with Hayward for their work on the series He & She.

Burns then teamed up with Brooks in 1969, when he joined the writing staff of Room 222, which was Brooks’ show. After the end of Room 222, the duo continues to work together and finally created the iconic comedy show The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Burns and Brooks won four Emmys for the show, which ran for over seven seasons from 1970 to 1977.

The duo has also created other popular shows like Rhoda, Lou Grant, and The Duck Factory.

Ed Asner, who played Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, also paid tribute to Burns on social media.

“I am so sad at the passing of the Allan Burns. A mensch like no other, a friend and so incredibly talented. Say hello to the gang Allan,” he wrote.


On January 27, actor-comedian Cloris Leachman who played Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show also died at 94.

Apart from television, Burns has also written for films such as A Little Romance, Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Just The Way You Are, Just Between Friends and Second Time Lucky. A Little Romace even fetched him an Oscar nomination.

Burns is survived by his wife, Joan, and his sons Eric and Matt.