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Linwood Boomer

Linwood Boomer

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 9, 1955 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, CA Profession: screenwriter, producer, TV series creator, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A tall, dark-haired TV actor best known for his 1978-81 role as Adam Kendall, the blind husband of similarly challenged eldest daughter Mary, on the NBC family drama "Little House on the Prairie," Linwood Boomer made the move in the mid-1980s to the behind-the-scenes producing and writing duties that would bring him the most success. His first behind-the-scenes work was as writer and producer on the NBC series "Silver Spoons" (1985-86) and "Night Court" (1986-88). After developing an adaptation of the popular British sci-fi comedy "Red Dwarf" for American television that disappointingly didn't get past the pilot stage, Boomer moved on to the relatively short-lived sitcoms "Flying Blind" (Fox, 1992-93) and "The Boys Are Back" (CBS, 1994-95), writing episodes for both and serving as executive consultant of the former and co-executive producer of the latter. In 1996 he was one of the executive producers of the hit NBC sitcom "3rd Rock From the Sun" and the failed ABC entry "Townies." While he also served in the same capacity for the edgy but controversial animated series "God, the Devil and Bob" (NBC, 2000), he found immediate success with the envelope-pushing Fox family comedy "Malcolm in the Middle"...

A tall, dark-haired TV actor best known for his 1978-81 role as Adam Kendall, the blind husband of similarly challenged eldest daughter Mary, on the NBC family drama "Little House on the Prairie," Linwood Boomer made the move in the mid-1980s to the behind-the-scenes producing and writing duties that would bring him the most success. His first behind-the-scenes work was as writer and producer on the NBC series "Silver Spoons" (1985-86) and "Night Court" (1986-88). After developing an adaptation of the popular British sci-fi comedy "Red Dwarf" for American television that disappointingly didn't get past the pilot stage, Boomer moved on to the relatively short-lived sitcoms "Flying Blind" (Fox, 1992-93) and "The Boys Are Back" (CBS, 1994-95), writing episodes for both and serving as executive consultant of the former and co-executive producer of the latter. In 1996 he was one of the executive producers of the hit NBC sitcom "3rd Rock From the Sun" and the failed ABC entry "Townies." While he also served in the same capacity for the edgy but controversial animated series "God, the Devil and Bob" (NBC, 2000), he found immediate success with the envelope-pushing Fox family comedy "Malcolm in the Middle" (2000- ).

A midseason replacement, "Malcolm" quickly won an audience with its boldly realistic yet off-kilter comedy focused on a struggling middle-class family of six: high-strung disciplinarian mother Lois (Jane Kaczmarek); dim but well-meaning father Hal (Bryan Cranston); smart aleck eldest son Francis (Christopher Masterson) consigned to military school; bullying, reluctant boy genius Malcolm (Frankie Muniz); and just plain weird youngest child Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan). The series steered clear of the traditional sitcom trappings as it was shot in a single-camera style, with no laugh track and with frequent fourth wall-breaking commentary by the title hero. "Malcolm in the Middle" set itself apart from its competitors with a fresh and consistently funny perspective and the remarkable performances by the entire cast. Perhaps this was in part because the show was loosely autobiographical for Boomer. Like Malcolm, he was the second youngest of four boys in a resultingly rowdy household, had a strict mother and was enrolled in a gifted program at school much to his dismay. An opening scene in the series' first episode that featured mom shaving dad's body hair at the breakfast table was said to have been taken from Boomer's own upbringing, and such unabashed displays of decidedly non-sitcom-like behavior impressed viewers and critics alike.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Suddenly, Love (1978) Dave Busby
2.
 Melissa Gilbert (2001) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved from Canada to California at age two
:
Raised in San Mateo, California
1978:
Played Adam, the husband of eldest daughter Mary, on NBC's "Little House on the Prarie"
1980:
Guest starred on an episode of "Hawaii Five-0"
1983:
Made guest appearance on an episode of "Voyagers" (NBC)
:
Switched to behind-the-scenes work as writer of two episodes of the popular NBC sitcom "Silver Spoons"
:
Wrote and produced the NBC series "Night Court"
1992:
Developed the failed American adaptation of the popular British sci-fi comedy "Red Dwarf"
:
Was writer and executive consultant of the Fox sitcom "Flying Blind"
:
Wrote and co-executive produced the CBS series "The Boys Are Back"
1995:
Was executive producer of the failed Dana Gould vehicle pilot "Nice Try" (CBS)
1996:
Served as an executive producer of the hit NBC sitcom "3rd Rock From the Sun"
1996:
Executive produced and wrote the short-lived ABC sitcom "Townies"
2000:
Was creator, executive producer and writer of the Fox series "Malcolm in the Middle", a quirky family comedy based loosely upon his own experience growing up; won Emmy for writing the pilot episode
2000:
Had co-executive producer credit on the controversial, short-lived animated series "God, the Devil and Bob" (NBC)
2000:
Signed a three-year deal with Regency Television to develop new projects (July)
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Notes

Linwood Boomer on the genesis of "Malcolm in the Middle": "At lunch, I would always tell stories about my childhood, and people really thought they were funny, so I decided to write it, but it ended up coming out really depressing. This kid stuck in this miserable experience. Then I came up with the creative device of having him talk directly to the camera." --quoted in USA Today, January 28, 2000.

"For years, 'Roseanne' was the only show where [the characters] made less than $200,000 a year. I'm all for fantasy, but every show doesn't have to be like that.

"In the truly ugliest sentiment that network executives have, anyone who makes under $70,000 is a loser. The average income in this country is $18,000 a year, and people [in Hollywood] who make more are just god-damned lucky. The idea that you're supposed to be embarrassed if you're not making six figures a year is creepy." --Linwood Boomer on the popularity of the struggling middle class family featured in "Malcolm in the Middle", quoted in Mediaweek, April 24, 2000.

Boomer on the initial origin of his "Malcolm in the Middle" family's unknown last name and hometown: "We left a lot of things unsaid on the show, mostly because I didn't have a good answer, and I didn't want to get locked into something that I wasn't sure was terrific." --quoted in Mediaweek, April 24, 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Shannon Boomer. Divorced.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Eileen Boomer. Bookkeeper.

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