Jessica Klein, ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ and ‘Northern Exposure’ Writer, Dead at 66

by Samantha Whidden

Jessica Klein, a writer and producer who is best known for her work on the hit TV teen drama series “Beverly Hills, 90210,” has passed away at the age of 66 after battling pancreatic cancer. Her daughter, Shira Rose, confirmed the news.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jessica Klein served as writer and producer on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” for six out of the series’ 10 seasons. She received writing/story by credit on nearly 50 episodes of the show. She also received story editor credits on 14 episodes and producing credit on 156 episodes throughout the seventh season. 

Jessica Klein worked on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” alongside her writing partner and then-husband, Steve Wasserman. He died in July 1998 after falling overboard during a sailing trip from Marina del Rey to Santa Catalina Island. She went on to marry painter and audiovisual expert Isaac Levenbrown, who passed away in 2014. Her daughter revealed that she passed away on July 13th. “My mom passed at 8:21 am this morning. It was peaceful. We were together. Will share funeral and shiva information when I know. It will all be here in LA,” Shira Rose revealed on Facebook.

Following her time on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” Jessica Klein and Wasserman wrote for the soap opera “As The World Turns” as well as “Northern Exposure,” “Mancuso, F.B.I.,” and Gabriel’s Fire.” She later joined “One Life to Live” as both a writer and producer. She began her TV career as an assistant on “Sesame Street” and received two Daytime Emmy nominations. Her other works included “Capitol,” “Scout Safari,” and “Just Deal.”

Along with her daughter Shira Rose, Jessica Klein’s survivors include stepchildren Josh, Brittany, and Jonathan; grandchildren Shayna, Mendel, Zisi, Asher, Lily, and Elliott; and brother David. 

Daughter of ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Writer and Producer Jessica Klein Says Her Mother Was Diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in November 2021

In a Facebook post late in 2021, Jessica Klein’s daughter revealed that the “Beverly Hills, 90210” writer and producer was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November 2021. 

“My mom got a non fabulous diagnosis before Thanksgiving,” Jessica Klein’s daughter disclosed. “And [she] started chemo this week. She truly has the best care in the world and we’re all doing well under the circumstances. Lots of ups and downs. Really grateful to be in the same city.”

In lieu of flowers, Jessica Klein’s daughter wrote to send donations in her mother’s memory to Chabad of Los Feliz. “Whenever anyone asked where to make a donation in her honor, this is always where she said to send it,” Shira Rose wrote. “Rabbi Korf (her rabbi, the rabbi at Chabad Los Feliz will be presiding over the funeral.”

The funeral for Jessica Klein will take place later this week.