MacGyver Writer, James Schmerer, Dies at 81

James Schmerer, a TV writer and producer with credits including MacGyverCHiPsThe High Chaparral and Mannix, died Oct. 4 of complications from a stroke at his home in Eugene, Oregon, the WGA West have announced. He was 81.

The Queens native wrote nine installments of CHiPs, 6 of MacGyver and 3 of Vegas. He also wrote for Medical Center, Mod Squad, Star Trek: The Animated Series, The Streets of San Francisco, The Rookies, Fantasy Island, The Six Million Dollar Man and Starsky and Hutch, among other series.  He also produced 43 episodes of The High Chaparral, an NBC Western that starred Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell and aired from 1967-71.

Schmerer’s 6 writing credits for MacGyver are all from season one where he wrote some of the most memorable episodes of that season and include  The Heist, Hellfire, Target MacGyver, Nightmares , Every Time She Smiles and The Assassin.

he is survived by his daughter, Pamela, and her husband, Damon. A celebration of life is set for 3 p.m. on Nov. 2 in Eugene (contact for more information). Donations in his name may be made to the Oregon Humane Society.




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