Dick Van Dyke Show Writer Sam Denoff Dies at 83

Emmy Award-winning Hollywood television writer Sam Denoff died over the weekend after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Denoff was one of the original writers of The Dick Van Dyke Show, as well as a co-creator of That Girl.

More from the LA Times obit:

Marlo Thomas wanted [longtime writing partner Bill Persky] and Denoff to write a series for her. “That Girl,” which ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971, starred Thomas as Ann Marie, an aspiring actress in New York. Persky and Denoff wrote the pilot and were executive producers. Denoff even wrote the lyrics to the show’s opening theme.

“Sam was my greatest convert to feminism as part of our great adventure bringing the first single girl to television,” Thomas said in a statement Sunday. “He liked to think of himself as the unsentimental guy on the staff, but the lyrics he wrote for our theme song belied his self-description:

“Diamonds, daisies, snowflakes, that girl

… She’s tinsel on a tree

She’s everything that every girl should be!

“Pretty romantic and sentimental, you have to agree,” Thomas said.