Stephen Kandel, Writer On Star Trek & Batman, Dead At 96

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Stephen Kandel

Stephen Kandel, who penned scripts for shows like Star Trek: The Original Series, Batmanand MacGyver, died on October 21 at the age of 96. News of the screenwriter’s passing from natural causes at his Boston apartment was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by his daughter, Elizabeth Englander.

Stephen Kandel On Star Trek: The Original Series

Stephen Kandel

Stephen Kandel graduated from high school at 16 and began his college education before being drafted into the United States Army during World War II. While in the military, he endured a chest-stabbing incident but made a full recovery.

Following the war, Kandel successfully graduated from Dartmouth College in 1950 and pursued a career as a writer in the entertainment industry.

His talent for storytelling would define his contributions to Hollywood. Stephen Kandel emerged as a prominent screenwriter during the 1960s and 1970s, a period marked by the emergence and popularity of various science fiction and fantasy television shows.

One of Kandel’s most notable contributions was to Star Trek: The Original Series. 

I Spy And Mission: Impossible

Stephen Kandel’s involvement in classic television extended beyond Star Trek

Kandel also crafted numerous episodes for a variety of shows, including The Millionaire, The Rogues, Gidget, I Spy, Ironside, The Wild Wild West, It Takes a Thief, Dan August, The New Mike Hammer, Mission: Impossible.

Plus, there was Room 222, The Magician, Medical Center, Cannon, Hawaii Five-O, and Hart to Hart.

Iron Horse In The 1960s

In addition to his prolific writing, Stephen Kandel co-created Iron Horse, a drama that aired from 1966 to 1968 on ABC and Screen Gems.

The series starred Dale Robertson as a gambler turned railroad baron, featuring Gary Collins and Ellen Burstyn.

Tom Weaver, in his 2005 book Earth vs. the Sci-Fi Filmmakers, aptly described Kandel’s extensive body of work, saying, “His resume reads like a Baby Boomer’s dream list of must-see TV.

Writer For Batman

Stephen Kandel

Stephen Kandel’s influence extended to the Lloyd Bridges-starring syndicated adventure series Sea Hunt from 1958 to 1961.

Notably, Kandel had a hand in five episodes of ABC’s Batman, including the action-packed “False Face” installment in 1966 and the “Zodiac Crimes” three-parter in 1967. He also worked on Mannix from 1968 to 1973.

Even Wrote On MacGyver

Stephen Kandel

The scribe contributed to 17 entries in the Richard Dean Anderson-led MacGyver from 1985 to 1990, even producing the ABC show in his Hollywood farewell.

In addition to his television work, Stephen Kandel contributed to film with screenplays for Singing in the Dark in 1956, Magnificent Roughnecks in 1956, Frontier Gun in 1958, Battle of the Coral Sea in 1959, Chamber of Horrors in 1966, and Cannon for Cordoba in 1970.

Book Writer As Well

Stephen Kandel

Recognized for his incredible contributions, Stephen Kandel shared a Humanitas Award for the 1979 NBC telefilm Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love, a poignant drama about living with autism.

In his retirement, he penned a 2020 book, The Lyin’ King: A Tragical Tale of Tawdry Trumpery.

Stephen Kandel, the son of Aben Kandel, a notable film writer, is survived by his wife of 66 years, Anne, along with children Jessica, Anthony, Elizabeth, and Joanna, as well as 11 grandchildren. His late sister was the Beat Generation poet Lenore Kandel.

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