Eric Bercovici, the writer-producer of TV movies and miniseries who shared an Emmy for the 1980 NBC epic “Shogun” with author James Clavell, died Sunday, February 9, at his home in Honolulu. He was 80.
Jerry London, director of “Shogun,” said of Bercovici after learning of his death, “He supported me and fought all the battles behind the scenes while I was making the film. There will never be another one like Eric.”
Bercovici also wrote with Clavell the 1988 NBC miniseries adaptation of the author’s “Noble House.” Separately he penned and produced the 1977 ABC miniseries “Washington: Behind Closed Doors.” For the bigscreen, Bercovici penned director John Boorman’s memorable 1968 film “Hell in the Pacific,” in which Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune played an American and Japanese soldier marooned on the same island during WWII.
Bercovici’s first screen credit was for co-writing, with his father Leonardo Bercovici, the 1961 film “Square of Violence,” directed by Leonardo Bercovici and starring Broderick Crawford. Other feature film credits include 1962’s “Conquered City,” starring David Niven; 1968 Western “Day of the Evil Gun,” starring Glenn Ford; Elvis Presley-Mary Tyler Moore vehicle “Change of Habit,” on which Bercovici was one of several writers; 1972 Western “The Culpepper Cattle Co.”; and 1975 Western “Take a Hard Ride.”
For TV he wrote for series ranging from “Love, American Style” to “I, Spy,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Hawaii Five-O.”
During the 1970s and ’80s Bercovici also wrote a number of TV movies.
Bercovici is survived by his wife Chiho, whom he met while making “Shogun.”