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Longtime writer, producer and director Robert Sherman, who also acted in a handful of films and TV shows, died Sept. 5 of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles. He was 71.

Sherman began his career as a character actor in the 1950s, appearing in “Kiss Me Deadly” and later in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

A longtime associate of director-producer Robert Aldrich, Sherman was involved in writing the screenplays for “Too Late the Hero” and “Picture Mommy Dead.”

Sherman served as associate producer and later producer of “Barnaby Jones” from 1974-80. He also produced “Freebie & the Bean” and served as executive story editor on “Knight Rider,” “Fantasy Island” and “T.J. Hooker.”

Additional writing credits included “Columbo,” “MacGyver,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Dallas,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” “Cannon,” “Kung Fu,” “The Mod Squad,” “The Invaders,” “Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre,” “Rawhide,” “Johnny Ringo” and the 1989 telefilm “Trouble in Paradise” starring Raquel Welch.

Sherman is survived by a daughter, Victoria.