Frank Lupo, the creative visionary behind television staples The A-Team, Wiseguy and Hunter, has passed way according to our friends at The Hollywood Reporter. The venerable Hollywood veteran was sixty-six.
Mr. Lupo passed away on February 18 at his home in Florida according to his sister Linda Joy Sullivan.
A homegrown New Yorker, Lupo hit the Los Angeles scene during the swingin’ 1970s and became something of a wunderkind, being hired at the tender age of twenty by Universal Television. The hiring was nothing short of destiny for Lupo; the simmering and almost ready to ignite youth met his longstanding creative partner Stephen J. Cannell during this period of time and the two men went on to brainstorm and create some of the more enduring television staples in the medium’s history. The Greatest American Hero and Riptide were two of their notable hits along with the triumvirate mentioned at the head of this appreciation.
In what feels like a lifetime ago, this writer began the groundwork to write a book about the making of one of Frank Lupo’s lesser known lights, the FOX series Werewolf which ran for a grand total of twenty nine episodes before taking up residence with Davey Jones’ Locker. I had discovered this oddity in Lupo’s cannon of work when I was fourteen years old and count its abrupt cancellation as one of the first heartbreaks of my young life. Years later, with the series languishing in limbo, barely recalled by but a few horror aficionado die-hards, I wanted to write a “thank you” to Lupo and the cast and crew who had entertained at least a handful of people. It’s with heavy heart that I now note that Frank is no longer with us; I’ll never have the opportunity to present him with the benefits of my research. Nevertheless, I have a hunch this maestro of creativity probably knew how deeply his efforts meant to so many fans of pop culture, be they fans of Ken Wahl’s spectacular turn as an undercover agent in Wiseguy or fans of John J. York’s unrelenting quest to lift his lycanthropic curse in Werewolf: Lupo provided all of us with the stuff that dreams are made of.
Mr. Lupo is survived by his sister, a wife, a daughter and a granddaughter. They have announced that in lieu of flowers donations in Frank Lupo’s name can be made to the City of Hope or the Wounded Warrior Project.