David Davis, a key creative force behind the classic television shows “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Rhoda” and “Taxi,” has died at the age of 86.
Davis died Friday in Los Angeles, his daughter Samantha Davis-Friedman told multiple trade publications.
No cause of death was given.
Davis produced many episodes of CBS’ seminal situation comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which aired from 1970-77. He co-created “The Bob Newhart Show” with Lorenzo Music in 1972. The iconic sitcom aired on CBS until 1978.
He and Music developed “Rhoda” as a spinoff of “The MTM Show” in 1976.
Davis co-created “Taxi” in 1978 with James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, and Ed. Weinberger, and wrote several episodes of that classic show. In 1979 Davis received an Emmy Award for co-producing Taxi and was nominated five other times.
He is also credited with the well-remembered title sequences for “The Bob Newhart Show” and “Taxi.”
Since 1976, the Booklyn native had lived with actress Julie Kavner, best known as the voice of Marge Simpson on Fox’s long-running show, “The Simpsons.” That was also the year Davis helped Kavner get the role of Brenda Morgenstern, sister of the title character played by Valerie Harper on “Rhoda.” It was Kavner’s first job as an actress and the pair remained together until his death.
In addition to his daughter Samantha, Davis is survived by a second daughter, Abigail Davis-Smith, and five grandchildren.