Heartbreak as Dallas creator David Jacobs dies after Alzheimers battle

The mastermind writer and producer behind shows like Dallas and Knots Landing, David Jacobs, has died at the age of 84 following a years-long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

His son Aaron announced in the Hollywood Reporter that his dad passed away on Sunday, 20 August, at the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California.

According to his family, a series of infections were too much for him to handle which led to his passing.

The TV icon was born in Baltimore on 12 August, 1939. He is survived by his children Aaron and Albyn, and his second wife, Diana, their daughter, Molly, and their grandchildren, Riley and Georgia.

David has been credited with changing the face of American television after two of his shows became smash hits in households across America and the rest of the world.

Dallas is one of the longest-running shows of all time, after airing for a whopping 14 seasons from 1978 to 1991 with 357 episodes.

David's other iconic hit, Knots Landing, was not too far behind, with a massive 344 episodes from 1979 to 1993.

David first rose to notoriety in the industry after securing a role at channel ABC where he was a story editor for the show Family.

This secured him a deal with Lorimar Productions who were later folded into Warner Bros.

While working with the production company, David met Michael Filerman, who was a development executive, and the two became fast friends and worked alongside each other to create the huge hits for many years to come.

When speaking to The Interviews: An Oral History of Television in 2008, David said that while he "wanted to do art," his colleague Michael wanted "to do trash," but added that "between us, we did television. It was a beautiful partnership."

His first hit, Dallas, came about when David was asked to think up a saga by the network ABC. This led to him thinking about the Texan oil industry which sparked the story for the show.

Despite David thinking of the idea, it was actually Michael who took credit for thinking of the name as he put the city name Dallas onto a logo for the show and said he preferred it to Houston as a name for a programme.

Within weeks, the show – which starred Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing, the notorious and manipulative oilman who was later killed in one of TV's largest cliffhanger endings – became a true hit.

David got into the writing world after first trying to become an artist following his stint at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Writing had always come easily to the TV icon as he wrote in magazines and even books in the field of Art History.

He first found writing work with help from his ex-wife Lynn Oliansky after their amicable divorce. David moved out to LA to be closer to her and his daughter after the split.

His first role in writing came through the show The Blue Knight before it was cancelled.

David also received Emmy nominations in the early 1990s for his work in co-creating the Western Paradise, Four Corners and ABC's Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, as well as Homefront.

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