Saved by the Bell creator Sam Bobrick has died at the age of 87.
His daughter confirmed on Facebook that Bobrick died in hospital last week after suffering a stroke.
He wrote more than 40 plays but was best known for creating the popular high school sitcom, which ran between 1989 to 1993.
A new series featuring original cast members Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley, is set for NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service, Peacock.
TV producer George Shapiro was among the first to pay tribute.
Following a futile attempt to learn accounting at college, Chicago-born writer Bobrick joined the Air Force where he began editing a newspaper before leaving to do a degree in journalism.
He then pursued a short-lived career in song-writing – despite claiming he was tone deaf and didn’t play any instruments – and co-wrote Elvis Presley’s hit The Girl of My Best Friend.
Bobrick worked on children’s TV show Captain Kangaroo and moved to Los Angeles, where he and writing partner Billy Idelson penned scripts for the likes of The Flintstones and Bewitched.
He partnered up with Ron Clark and wrote variety show series The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
He and Clark became good friends and they and their families moved to New York in the late 1960s, where they wrote their debut play – the first gay comedy on Broadway, titled Norman, Is That You?
Bobrick wrote: “While the audiences howled from beginning to end and we thought we had a big hit, the critics were stunned by the audacity to treat homosexuality with humour and understanding and not the torturous journey they felt it should be and weren’t too kind to it.”
Bobrick went on to write other plays but had less success despite it being his real love – he admitted he only continued to write for TV “to have the income to take time off to write a play”.