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Brandon Stoddard Dead at 77

Brandon Stoddard, former ABC Entertainment president, died of cancer Monday. He was 77.

Stoddard joined ABC as director of daytime programs in 1970 and took over as president of ABC Entertainment in 1985.

As president, Stoddard launched miniseries RootsThe Winds of WarEast of EdenThe Thorn Birds and Rich Man, Poor Man, among others.

Stoddard also shepherded series RoseanneThe Wonder YearsTwin PeaksFull House and Thirtysomething and launched ABC's movie division ABC Motion Pictures in the 1970s, of which he was president.

"Brandon was a true maverick who was instrumental in transforming prime time television,” said Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “His influence continues, and he will be missed by everyone who had the good fortune to know him. My thoughts are with Mary Anne and their family during this difficult time”

Stoddard was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in March.

Stoddard is survived by wife Mary Anne Dolan, daughters Alexandra Brandon Stoddard and Brooke Stoddard and four grandchildren.