Obit: Ben Starr

Veteran TV comedy writer and producer Ben Starr has died at 92.

His writing career began on early TV shows like Duffy’s Tavern and I Married Joan, later working on such classics as Mister Ed, The Brady Bunch, All In The Family and Diff’rent Strokes. He went on to become co-creator of The Facts of Life and Silver Spoons.

Starr passed away January 19 in Los Angeles.

Classic TV Birthdays: January 22

Among those celebrating birthdays January 22: Linda Blair. The star of The Exorcist also appeared in several made-for-TV movies back in the 1970s, including Sarah T.- Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic. Blair turns 55 today.

Former cop turned author Joseph Wambaugh is 77. Two of his books were adapted into 70s era cop shows: The Blue Knight and Police Story.

Character actor Seymour Cassel is 78. He guested on Batman, The FBI and The Lloyd Bridges show and remains active to this day. According to IMDB, Cassel has seven new entries on his filmography in 2014.

Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet, is 80. Piper Laurie, who appeared on shows like The Naked City and Murder She Wrote, later went on to star in the offbeat series Twin Peaks. She is perhaps best known as Sissy Spacek’s mom in the original Carrie. Laurie turns 82.

Several classic TV stars who have passed away also share January 22 as a birthday: Bill Bixby (My Favorite Martian, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, The Magician, The Incredible Hulk), Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet, which originated in the 70s) and Ann Sothern. Sothern was a film actress who later starred in three sitcoms: Private Secretary, The Ann Sothern Show and My Mother The Car (she was the voice of the car, the reincarnated mother of Jerry Van Dyke’s character!)

Classic TV celebs who died on this day include Parker Fennelly, a character actor who is best remembered as the longtime spokesman for Pepperidge Farms. Stage and film star Ann Miller guested on Love American Style and The Love Boat.

Also passing on January 22: Telly Savalas (Kojak), who died one day after his 72nd birthday and Jean Simmons, a film star who appeared on Hawaii Five-0 and a memorable episode of The Odd Couple. She played The Princess, a visiting royal who stole the heart of sloppy Oscar Madison.