Richard Lindheim, a television veteran who co-created the 1985 series Equalizer and was executive producer on CBS’s upcoming reboot, who died earlier today, Jan. 18, of heart failure. He was 81 years old.
Lindheim has spent more than four decades in the entertainment industry, serving as director of television at NBC, Universal Studios and Paramount in programming, creative affairs, research, strategy and production and piloting popular series. and award-winning such as Frasier, Star Trek Voyager, Deep Space 9 and Miami Vice.
From 1992 to 1999, Lindheim was Senior Vice President of Paramount Television Group, where he founded Paramount Digital Entertainment, the studio’s internet technology group. From there, Lindheim, who had a BS in Electronic Engineering from Redlands University and was a graduate student in Telecommunications and Engineering at USC, pursued his career on the intersection between entertainment and technology. In 1999, he was appointed Executive Director of the Institute for Creative Technologies at USC.
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He also co-founded RL Leaders, a company that offers immersive experiences for specialized training by combining Hollywood creativity and high tech to create virtual reality simulations.
With Michael Sloan, Lindheim creates the drama series of 1985 Equalizer, which ran on CBS for four years and spawned a blockbuster movie starring Denzel Washington and a reimagining CBS series, titled by Queen Latifah. The Lindheim executive produced the new series, now in production, which landed the most prestigious slot machine ever possible, behind the Super Bowl on February 7.
“He watched the dailies of Equalizer until the last day; he was so excited to see the show go into production and was ready to listen and watch the premiere, ”said Lindheim’s son-in-law Ezra Dweck.
Lindheim, who also made history and produced the 1978 series BJ and the bear, was a great cinephile.
“He liked movies – old stuff, movies from the 40s and 50s – and contemporary movies. When theaters were open, he saw all the films when they were released. He was watching movies until the end, ”Dweck said.
Lindheim also liked trains; he had a collection of model trains and loved train rides.
He is survived by his wife, son, daughter and two grandchildren.
Due to the pandemic, the family is preparing a small private ceremony. In lieu of flowers, those who want to pay tribute can donate on Richard’s behalf to the Sierra Club or to a charity of their choice.