Writer-producer Stephen Lord, who penned multiple episodes of series including “Death Valley Days,” “CHiPS” and “Fantasy Island” during a multi-decade career in television and also scripted several feature films, including “Hangar 18,” died on May 5 of natural causes related to Alzheimer’s in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 85.
The New Orleans-born Lord hit the ground running in Hollywood in the late 1950s, scripting single episodes of “Harbor Command” and “The Loretta Young Show” but soon becoming involved in the production of “The June Allyson Show” and of Aaron Spelling-created Western “Johnny Ringo,” where he was associate producer and story editor. He also served as associate producer and penned multiple episodes of “Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater” and “Death Valley Days,” directing several episodes of the latter series as well.
Other TV writing credits during the 1960s and ’70s included episodes of “Bonanza,” “Daniel Boone,” “The Virginian,” “Ironside,” “Banacek,” “McCloud” and “Ellery Queen.”
Lord penned NBC’s telepic adaptations of Cooper’s “Last of the Mohicans” (1977) and of Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1979), starring Martin Landau. He also did some bigscreen work during this period, scripting the successful 1978 feature documentary “Beyond and Back,” about people with near-death experiences, followed by horror-sci-fier “The Bermuda Triangle” and alien-conspiracy thriller “Hangar 18” (1980), collaborating frequently with director James L. Conway.
Also at this time, he penned multiple episodes of TV series including “CHiPS,” “Fantasy Island” and “Matt Houston.” In the mid- to late ’80s he scripted episodes of “Crazy Like a Fox,” “T.J. Hooker” and “The New Mike Hammer,” ending his smallscreen career with an episode of “Matlock” in 1993.
Stephen J. Loyacano was born in New Orleans and began his career at WDSU radio and television in the Crescent City. Upon moving to Hollywood, he studied at the Pasadena Playhouse. He was also a playwright, novelist and composer.
He was active in both the WGA and the DGA for many years.
Loyacano is survived by his wife, Joan; daughters Elizabeth, an actress, Stephanie, and Jennifer; and a granddaughter.
Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Assn., 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90036, or by calling Jennifer at 323-930-6246.
Go to Akesfamilyfuneralhome.com to sign a guest book if you wish to leave regards for the family.