TV Drama Pioneer Rose Dead at 81
Reginald Rose, one of the most famous 'golden age of TV' dramatists, who saw
two of his best-known creations revived on Showtime in the late 1990s, died
April 21 in Norwalk, Conn.
He was 81, and he succumbed to complications from heart failure, according to
a family member.
When live television drama was big in the 1950s, Rose was at the forefront of
writing the medium's most provocative offerings.
Twelve Angry Men -- his tale of a juror's effort to sway his colleagues
in deciding a murder trial involving a youth of color, produced live in 1954 on
Studio One -- won an Emmy Award later that year and was eventually turned into
an Oscar-nominated movie. Rose co-produced with star Henry Fonda.
Showtime presented a new production of Twelve Angry Men in 1997, with
Rose's involvement, featuring an all-star cast led by Jack Lemmon and George C.
Scott. Scott's performance earned a supporting-actor Emmy the following
Also in 1997, Showtime premiered the first of three made-for TV movies
updating The Defenders, Rose's landmark legal-issues drama series that
ran on CBS from 1961 through 1965.
E.G. Marshall and Robert Reed co-starred in the original series as father/son
attorneys tackling cases with subject matter from mercy killing to blacklists.
Marshall repeated his role for the Showtime movies -- Payback, The
Choice of Evil and Taking the Fifth -- with Beau Bridges as
Rose is survived by his wife and six children.
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