William Link is one of television’s most famous writers and producers. Along with his writing partner Richard Levinson, Link created some of TV’s most memorable detectives. Jessica Fletcher, Joe Mannix, and Lt. Columbo all sprang from their fertile imaginations.
The two began their collaborations as students at the University of Pennsylvania and continued in a partnership that lasted until Levinson's death in 1987. Link and Levinson were among the first writers to address major social issues in their writing, and they did so in ways that challenged audiences.
In 1971, the duo achieved their greatest success with the premiere of Columbo. Starring Peter Falk (in a role that won him four Emmys), the series about a rumpled but brilliant detective became an American TV institution, and earned critical and audience acclaim. Levinson and Link won an Emmy award for a script in the show's first season and the series was honored with several awards. After leaving the air after seven seasons, the show was resurrected in 1989 as part of The ABC Mystery Movie. Columbo outlasted this series and periodic specials continued to air until 2003.
Perhaps their second most famous show after Columbo was Murder, She Wrote. Inspired by the idea of an Agatha Christie-type author as a sleuth, Levinson and Link built on their previous Ellery Queen project and devised this new series. The show ran for 12 highly rated seasons and continues to be very popular today.
Link won Emmys, Golden Globes, Edgar Allan Poe Awards, and was nominated for a Tony. His last major project was in 1994, when he co-created and produced The Cosby Mysteries. His decades of work will continue to entertain audiences for years to come.