Leon Tokatyan, who wrote the pilot episode for the award-winning TV series ”Lou Grant,” died May 13 in Los Angeles of natural causes. He was 73.
Tokatyan wrote and produced several more episodes of the popular series, which featured Ed Asner as the curmudgeonly city editor of the fictional Los Angeles Tribune. The show was spun off from the character Asner played on ”The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Tokatyan won a Writers Guild of America award for the ”Lou Grant” episode “Vet,” about photographer Animal’s traumatic memories of his Vietnam assignment, and was nominated two other times.
Among other honors, Tokatyan also received the Humanitas award for television writing that affirms humanitarian values.
Before ”Lou Grant,” Tokatyan wrote for such shows as ”Espionage,” ”Kraft Suspense Theater” and ”The Virginian.” Tokatyan’s television career began in New York, where he worked as a tour guide for NBC.
Tokatyan is survived by seven children and two grandchildren.