Jessica Klein, an award-winning television writer and producer who was a key contributor for six seasons on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” died of pancreatic cancer at her home in Beverly Hills on July 13. She was 66 years old.
Klein’s death was confirmed by her daughter, Shira Rose, who shared that her mother died “fulfilled, surrounded by her biggest fans, her family.”
After moving to Los Angeles in the late 1970s, Klein married Steve Wasserman, her writing partner. The duo collaborated as writers and executive producers on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” launching Klein’s career in prime time.
Klein collaborated on “Just Deal,” Sk8″ and “Scout’s Safari” with Tommy Lynch, her creative partner after Wasserman’s death in 1998. Other notable credits include “Northern Exposure,” “Mancuso,” “FBI,” “Gabriel’s Fire,” “As the World Turns” and “Secret Central.”
Born in Manhattan on March 14, 1956, Klein was raised by her mother, a senior administrator at Weill Cornell Medical College, and her father, the co-founder of Barton’s Candy and a Holocaust survivor. Klein graduated from Harvard Radcliffe in 1977 with a degree in psychology and social relations.
Klein first ventured into the television industry as an assistant on “Sesame Street” before teaming with Wasserman. Later in her career, she worked as a writer and producer on “One Life to Live” and head of creative on “Make It Pop” and “The Other Kingdom.”
Klein married again in 2000, wedding painter and audiovisual expert Isaac Levenbrown. In 2011, the couple moved to Virginia, where Klein began to teach screenwriting at Drexel University. After Levenbrown’s death, Klein relocated to Toronto and then Los Angeles once more.
Klein is survived by her daughter, Shira Rose; her stepchildren, Josh, Brittany and Jonathan; her grandchildren, Shayna, Mendel, Zisi, Asher, Lily and Elliott; and her brother, David.
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