HomeEntertainment‘Cops’ Creator John Langley Dies: New Details Surface on Reported Cause of Death

‘Cops’ Creator John Langley Dies: New Details Surface on Reported Cause of Death

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Todd Oren/Getty Images for Langley Production

New details surfaced in the death of “Cops” creator John Langley. The TV producer and director passed away on Saturday (June 26). According to the New York Post, Langley died from complications related to a sudden heart attack.

The “Cops” creator was 78-years-old. A family representative confirmed the circumstances of Langley’s death to the outlet. Langley was reportedly in an off-road race in Baja, Mexico. Besides entertainment, Langley loved driving competitively. So, the Cops creator competed in the Coast to Coast Ensenada-San Felipe 250.

But the race turned deadly for Langley when he had a heart attack while behind the wheel. The “Cops” creator has long had a passion for the competition. He competed with a team named after his popular show. Back in 2009 and 2010, Langley even took home the top prize for the competition.

For Langley, competitive racing became a family sport. He also worked with both of his sons Zack and Morgan on the team.

John Langley Remembered For ‘Cops’

John Langley grew up the L.A. area, engrossed in the entertainment industry. Back in the 1960s, Langley served in the United States Army. Afterwards, he broke into the film industry working as both a screenwriter and publicist. Some of his earlier works include the 1983 documentary “Cocaine Blues” and “Dogwatch” in 1999.

He also produced films such as “Brooklyn’s Finest” but really found his niche within reality TV. “Cops” ended up becoming a seminal if controversial show. It lasted longer than many shows dared dream. First airing in 1989, the show ran for 32 seasons before going off the air.

“Langley is often credited with the innovative ‘video verité’ signature style of the award-winning COPS program,” his bio reads. “Though now commonplace, at the time the camera technique notably influenced TV advertising and news reporting, as well as other network and syndicated programming.”

“Cops” followed real life police officers and law enforcement as they responded to calls and disturbances on-duty. The show filmed a 33rd season. But the last season never aired due to national controversies. Last year, a police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd. As a result, there was national unrest. Additionally, many shows related to police officers were delayed or canceled as a result.

But “Cops” continues to air internationally in syndication. Langley ended up producing more than 1,000 episodes of the show. It also became one of the longest-running reality shows in existence as a result. During its run, “Cops” garnered four Emmy nominations and an American Television Award. It also spawned countless other programming centered around police officers.

Langley spent his final days split between his home in Los Angeles and his winery in Argentina. He enjoyed spending time with his family and wife. He will be remembered for his legacy to reality television.