William Link has created, written and adapted sixteen on-the-air television series.
Called “Mr. Rolls and Mr. Royce of American television” by the New York Times, William Link and his collaborator, Richard Levinson, created, wrote, adapted and produced many successful mystery, crime television series, including: Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Ellery Queen, The Bold Ones, Mannix, McCloud, Tenafly, Scene of the Crime, Blacke’s Magic and The Cosby Mysteries. Richard Levinson died in 1987.
Link is also known for his numerous mystery/crime movies-for-television, The Savage Report, directed by Steven Spielberg, Guilty Conscience, starring Anthony Hopkins, The Judge and Jake Wyler starring Bette Davis, Murder by Natural Causes, Rehearsal for Murder, The Guardian, Vanishing Act and many others. He is proud of his groundbreaking socially significant television movies, including My Sweet Charlie (one of the first network specials to deal with race relations), That Certain Summer (the first to deal with homosexuality), The Execution of Private Slovik, The Gun, Crisis at Central High, Terrorist on Trial, and the autobiographical The Boys.
His feature film credits include The Hunter (Steve McQueen’s last movie), the cult classic, Rollercoaster, The Hindenburg, and others.
In the late eighties, Link served as supervising producer of the ABC Mystery Movie series.
Link served on The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Board of Governors in 1976-77.
His play Prescription: Murder (the birth of the Columbo character in 1961) toured the United States and Canada. It was the highest grossing play, with the exception of A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, that year.
He was nominated for a Tony Award for his book for the Broadway musical Merlin.
Link has written and published two novels, Fineman and The Playhouse, and two books on television, Stay Tuned and Off-Camera. Several dozen short stories have appeared in Playboy, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, etc.
His awards include two Emmys, two Golden Globes, the Peabody, the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Television Writing, Silver Nymph Award from the International Monte Carlo Film Festival, Golden Gate Film Festival Award, the Christopher, The Image Award from the NAACP, the Media Award from the Alliance of Gay Artists in the Entertainment Industry, Television Radio Writers Annual Award, Producers Guild of America Hall of Fame, four Edgar Allan Poe Awards, The Ellery Queen Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Art of Mystery Writing, The Raymond Chandler Marlowe Award from the Southern Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, the Bouchercon XX Performance Mystery Award.
Link and Levinson were inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1994.
Late in his television career he embarked upon an acting stint at the behest of producer Bill Cosby who insisted Link play the character of Ben Sapolsky in the Cosby Mystery series. This character was based on Cosby’s real life high school clarinet teacher.
In addition to his writing, Link is also well known for his humorous show-biz cartoons, a fly-on-the-wall perspective of one of the world’s craziest businesses, and has had museum shows at The Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco; The Hollywood Entertainment Museum, Los Angeles; The Writers Guild West, Los Angeles.
Link was the 2002 National President of the Mystery Writers of America.
His new play, Columbo Takes The Rap, was a major hit at the 2007 International Mystery Festival.
Prescription: Murder is presently touring the UK.
In 2010, he was the recipient of the Agatha Christie Poirot award.
Link’s newly written Columbo short stories, The Columbo Collection, has been published by Crippen Landru.
|Website copyright 2015 by William Link.
Photo of William Link and Peter Falk by Douglas Kirkland
Book cover illustration by Al Hirschfeld. Copyright Al Hirschfeld. Hirschfeld exclusive representative is Margo Feiden Galleries, Ltd., New York
Website by Dovetail Studio.