Aaron Spelling

Aaron Spelling called me “roomie” for 40 years. When he was divorced from Carolyn Jones he lived alone in a hillside Hollywood home. I was also recently divorced and Aaron, who had been my friend for 10 years, offered me the guest bedroom in his house until I’d find a place of my own. I didn’t live there long. Candy soon moved in and they were married the next year. So was I. We have all remained married.

Once, during the 37 years, Aaron and Candy called me out to their beach house, asked me to quell the rumors they were splitting. They never did. That beach house — long before the Holmby Hills mansion, was the site for many happy family times. We’d seen them welcome the birth of daughter Tori and then the very premature arrival of son Randy. At the beach house, it was a kick to see the 10 year-old Tori Spelling poring over scripts — even at that age.

I watched Aaron’s dynasty grow and I chronicled his successes decade after decade. I also watched him at first hand while working on TV show segments whenever there was a scene involving a premiere. I hopefully added to the realism — after all, I’d m.c.’d every major Hollywood premiere (including the Oscars) for almost 50 years. My wife Selma was also “Nurse Amy” in Aaron’s “Melrose Place” series.

The Spelling company grew to record heights; it filled the entire fifth floor of the Wilshire Blvd. complex of which Variety is on the main floor. I’d visit Spelling in his offices — he had his own kitchen, cook and butler. But, as the number of series dwindled down and the company was sold, they finally gave up those offices only last month. Aaron was to move into a single office in Santa Monica. The office was ready. Aaron never saw it. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years. He’d become more and more reclusive. But I often spoke to him on the phone — last month was the last time. So long, “roomie.”

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