Dale McRaven, ‘Mork and Mindy’ and ‘Perfect Strangers’ Creator, Dead at 83

by Craig Garrett
(Photo by Bob D'Amico/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Comedy writer and producer Dale McRaven, who created Mork & Mindy with Garry Marshall has passed away at the age of 83. McRaven died earlier this month from complications due to lung cancer, his son David McRaven told The Hollywood Reporter. The Emmy-nominated writer-producer worked on many hallmarks of classic TV.

Perfect Strangers, an 80’s sitcom was created by McRaven. The sitcom featured two cousins from different backgrounds who lived together in Chicago – one American, the other from Mypos. It first aired in March 1986. After a couple of years of creative differences, McRaven stepped away from the day-to-day production of the series, but he still sent in script notes. The show ran for eight seasons and 150 episodes.

He also served as a writer on the fifth and final season of CBS’ The Dick Van Dyke Show and as a writer-producer on ABC’s The Partridge Family during that musical comedy’s 1970-74 run. In addition, he and Marshall created the 1979-80 ABC sitcom Angie, starring Donna Pescow and Robert Hays. McRaven retired from showbusiness in the 1990s, taking up photography.

Dale McRaven had a prolific career in classic tv

Dale Keith McRaven was born on March 5, 1939, in a rural area near Pulaski, Illinois. He grew up in Chicago and Phoenix before moving to Los Angeles in 1957 and selling his first screenplay to Steve Allen. He is the fifth of six children. McRaven has written for Get Smart, Room 222, Love American Style, and The Betty White Show.

In 1964, Marshall hired him as a staff writer for the fourth and final season of The Joey Bishop Show. A year later, producer Sheldon Leonard brought him to The Dick Van Dyke Show where he met Carl Kleinschmidt. They ended up winning a WGA award together.

McRaven and Kleinschmidt wrote for various sitcoms including Gomer Pyle: USMCThat Girl, Hey, Landlord, and The Odd Couple. They would share an office on Sunset Boulevard with Marshall and Jerry Belson as well as another writing team Jim Parker and Arnold Margolin. Every five years they reunite to have lunch together and take a photo in front of their old workplace.

After McRaven parted ways with Klienschmidt he went ahead to write and produce The Partridge Family. Additionally, he produced albums from the “band” made up of popular castmates Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Danny Bonaduce, and Susan Dey.

Marshall had to persuade Dale McRaven to work on Mork & Mindy, a spinoff of Happy Days with Robin Williams and Pam Dawber that ran for four seasons from September 1978 through May 1982. McRaven received an Emmy nomination for outstanding comedy series in 1979 for his work on the show, but he lost out to Taxi on ABC.