News From Prep
Posted October 5, 2010
A Tribute to Stephen J. Cannell '60
Steve Cannell was a beloved member of the close-knit Class of 1960 at Flintridge Preparatory School. He served on the school's Board of Trustees twice; his children Cody and Tawnia are graduates of Prep, and his grandson and granddaughter are currently enrolled here.
A lightning-quick tailback who made 47 touchdowns in two years, Steve was a popular guy with a gift for friendship and looking on life’s positive side. He was a terrible speller, had horrible handwriting, and often could not finish a test due to his undiagnosed dyslexia. But under his senior photo in Prep’s yearbook, the Log, Steve wrote “author.”
“Prep accepted me, warts and all, and the warts were on me, not them,” said Cannell in an interview during Flintridge Prep’s 75th anniversary year. Ironically, he attributed his early academic failures to helping him along the road to success. “Young writers, my contemporaries, would get a bad review, and they’d shrivel up. To me it was just another D-minus,” he said.
Despite his lack of academic success, Steve went on to do great things. He is the creator or co-creator of nearly 40 television series, including “The Rockford Files,” “The A-Team,” “21 Jump Street,” and “Baretta.” By his own estimation, he wrote over 450 episodes and produced or executive produced over 1,500 episodes. He was also the author of more than a dozen novels, including the Shane Scully police series. He has won an Emmy, two Writer's Guild Awards, two Edgar Award Nominations and has a star on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame.
Steve always remained a supporter of Flintridge Prep. He was a consummate Prep football fan, spoke at Baccalaureate, and participated in many school events; his family established the Cannell Family Teaching Chair, an endowed teaching chair that has been held since 2002 by history teacher Michael Mullins.
The Prep community will sorely miss the guidance, friendship, humility, and optimistic energy of Steve Cannell ’60, who was the author, not only of screenplays and novels, but of his own success.
A service for Steve Cannell will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena on Friday, October 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm.