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TV Producer, Writer and Director, Known for 'NYPD Blue,' 'Kojak' and Other Series, Dead at 77 THR

A television producer, writer and director who worked on shows including "NYPD Blue" and "Kojak" has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Rift Fournier was 77.

Fournier was restricted to a wheelchair after he was stricken with polio in his youth, the story says. He co-produced the initial syndicated version of "The Mike Douglas Show" in 1963, and wrote episodes of TV hits including "Kojak" and "Charlie's Angels."

He also wrote, produced, directed and narrated "Cover Story," which debuted on the USA Network in 1984. The show featured profiles of entertainers.

“I didn't know [polio] was supposed to stop me from doing something,” Fournier told the Los Angeles Times in 1986, according to THR. “You’ve heard the joke. ‘I never knew I was poor … .’ Well, I never knew I was handicapped.”

Fournier's TV credits also included "Baretta," "Matlock," "Highway to Heaven" and the Emmy-winning 1970s NBC children's series "Go!," among many others.

rift fournier.jpgRift Fournier